China has no objection to Saudi investment in CPEC; says envoy

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QUETTA: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing on Wednesday said China had no objection to Saudi Arabia investing in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “We welcome investment in CPEC,” the ambassador told journalists at the Quetta Press Club.

Following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudia Arabia last month, the government had announced that the kingdom has signed grant agreements with Pakistan to finance three road infrastructure and energy projects under CPEC.

The government, however, had clarified that Saudi Arabia would not be made part of the $50 billion CPEC framework and the kingdom’s proposed investments would fall under a separate bilateral arrangement.

“The framework between China and Pakistan is bilateral and Saudi Arabia is not entering that framework as a third-party investor, rather the base of CPEC will be broadened and its pace will be expedited,” Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar had said during a press conference.

During his visit to Quetta, Ambassador Jing also addressed the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry and met people from a broad cross-section of society. He stated that after the formation of the new government, CPEC had been reviewed and consensus had been developed over the inclusion of new projects.

“Both sides will keep working on the ongoing projects under CPEC and have them finished as scheduled,” Jing said of the projects that are already underway. For the next stage of the project, we will focus on joint ventures and the social sector. We have also decided that more resources should be given to the western provinces,” he revealed.