LAHORE – Outgoing Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong has termed Gwadar pivotal for future economic prosperity of Pakistan.
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In a discussion with journalists in the Punjab capital Thursday, the envoy expressed satisfaction at the pace of development in the port city, highlighting that last year a Free Zone was established in Gwadar, and already more than 30 companies have invested there. These companies are establishing factories and setting up plants in Gwadar.
“We understand that there is an urgent need for a new airport in Gwadar, and China will put in every effort to facilitate the development of the city,” Mr Weidong stressed.
He added that China would provide the funds for the construction of East Bay Expressway (a 19-kilometer six-lane road in Gwadar).
Responding to a question, he dismissed the notion that CPEC projects are being set up at unfavourable terms for Pakistan. “The funds coming from China are divided into three main categories. The first one is investment from Chinese companies, mostly in the energy sector, on IPP model basis. Secondly, China is providing some free assistance and interest-free loans, which would include some infrastructure projects in Gwadar. The third category is loans, which are being offered at extremely low interest rates with the cooperation of the Chinese government.
“One such example is the Orange Line Train being built in Lahore.”