Islamabad, December 31, 2020 (PPI-OT):H.E. Mr. Nong Rong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan called on Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Economic Affairs in his office today. During the meeting, Pak-China economic relations, CPEC projects and other matters of mutual interest were discussed. The Minister for Economic Affairs lauded the grant assistance extended by Government of China for various infrastructure and socioeconomic projects in Pakistan. The Minister also appreciated the significant work of Joint Working Groups on Socioeconomic Development and Transport Infrastructure under CPEC. He highlighted that the socioeconomic projects agreed therein are in line with the vision of PTI government for socio-economic uplift of the common people and enhanced economic activities in the country.
Both sides also discussed the progress of on-going projects financed by the Government of China. The Minister for Economic Affairs also appreciated the Chinese assistance for combating corona pandemic and locust attack. During the meeting, a Letter of Exchange (LoE) for “Rehabilitation of Specific Sections of National Highway N-5 Project” was also signed. Under this agreement, Government of China will provide grant assistance of RMB 659.8 Million (US$ 100 million) for rehabilitation of four sections (66KM in total)) of National Highway (N-5) between Hala (District Matiari) and Moro (District Naushahro Feroze) in Sindh Province. The project will help to improve road infrastructure and augment the North-South connectivity. The Ambassador said that the National Highway 5 (N5) is an important road that extends from the south part to the north and west border in Pakistan, and carries a large amount of traffic capacity.
Unfortunately, this road was seriously damaged by the record flood in 2010. At the request of the Pakistani government, the Chinese government helped repairing parts of N5 and N55 sections during 2011 and 2016. With the joint efforts by the Pakistani and Chinese workers, the rehabilitation work was completed at the end of 2016, and greatly improved the road conditions of the relevant sections. Considering the importance of the N5 road, the Chinese government agrees to rehabilitate the remaining 66 kilometers of the N5 road with Chinese grant in accordance with the previous bilateral agreement. The Ambassador added that the new Project of Rehabilitation of N5 Road is the largest road project funded by Chinese grant in recent years in Pakistan.
The implementation of this project will further increase the traffic capacity, while facilitating people’s travel along the route. Construction of the project will also create considerable employment, and promote related building materials and transportation sectors along the route. The Embassy will work closely with EAD and other relevant departments to ensure the project starts at the earliest. He concluded with a Chinese saying, “???????”, which means “to be rich, build roads first”. He hoped that the full function of N5 road will definitely bring fortune and prosperity to the Pakistani friends.
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