Pakistan, China ink 20-bn-dollar deals in various fields

Islamabad, Dec 18 (ANI): Pakistan and China have signed around 20-billion-dollar worth of deals to boost trade and investment, as Wen Jiabao became the first Chinese premier in five years to visit Islamabad.

The two countries signed 13 agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in fields including energy, rail transport, reconstruction, agriculture and culture, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters.

"China will provide assistance in 36 projects in Pakistan to be completed in five years... Basically this is a five-year development plan," the Dawn quoted Kaira, as saying.

He said that 14 billion dollars would come through a joint economic cooperation group, five billion dollars in other business agreements, while deals worth another 10 billion dollars were expected to be concluded at a business leaders' meeting on Saturday.

"Overall the Chinese investment is expected to be around 30 billion dollars," Kaira added.

Although the deals are vitally important to the moribund Pakistani economy, they pale into comparison with Jiabao's agreement in Pakistan's archrival India on Thursday, where New Delhi and Beijing agreed to double bilateral trade to 100 billion dollars by 2015. (ANI)

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