Saudi Arabia is to Invest in Pakistan under a Separate Bilateral Arrangement than CPEC.
Saudi Arabia is not a part of $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as was anticipated earlier. The investment that has been proposed by Saudi Arabia for Pakistan will fall under a separate bilateral arrangement.
Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar spoke at a joint conference with the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and clearly stated that there has been no plan to add Saudi Arabia in CPEC. A question was asked to him regarding any possibility of Saudi Arabia joining Joint Working Groups (JWGs) or Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on CPEC.
He clearly said, “Saudi Arabia is not to become a collateral strategic partner in the CPEC. This impression is not true.” He said that it’s not just Saudi Arabia can also become a part of business and investment projects arising from CPEC.
Adding “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.”
When the planning minister was asked about the reduction of Main Railway Line (ML-I) from$8.2bn to $6.2bn he expressed ignorance stating, “I have noticed this today that Sheikh Rashid is making some efforts [to reduce cost] but not to my knowledge. Nothing has come in front of me to suggest that the cost has come down.”