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China to give $2.4bn for three mega projects


March 27, 2003-The Daily DAWN


ISLAMABAD, March 27: China would give $2.4 billion financial assistance to help undertake three mega development projects that included $700 million for the expansion of the Pakistan Steel Mills.

"This new huge financial assistance by China is very important for Pakistan as it will further cement trade and economic relations between the two countries," said Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance Shaukat Aziz said on Thursday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Minister for Industries and Production Liaqat Jatoi and PM's Advisor on Privatisation and Investment Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Mr Aziz said that $500 million would be extended by China for improvement of the Pakistan's Railways.

Mr Jatoi gave details of the expansion of the Pakistan Steel Mills for which China would extend roughly $700 million. He said earlier Pakistan had signed an agreement with Russia for increasing the annual production of the Steel Mills from 1.1 million tons to 1.5 million tons. "And now we have discussed with Chinese authorities to further increase the production from 1.5 million tons to three million tons annually," the minister for industries and production said.

Mr Jatoi said that China was considering relocating its one of the steel mills from Beijing to some other parts of the country. "We are looking into the possibility of buying the main machinery of that mill for our Karachi Steel Mills," he added.

"China has further agreed to offer $42 million, including $33 million soft loan, for building a Float Glass Unit," he said, adding that it would be a joint venture of Chinese company - M/S CBMC and the Pakistan Police Foundation.

Responding to a question, the adviser on finance said that China would give roughly $800 million for the construction of second 300 MW nuclear power plant at Chashma.

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