Cash-out Pakistan eyeing $3 billion loan from China
Amid the upcoming Winter Olympics meet scheduled in China, the cash-out Pakistan is eyeing on a whopping loan amount of $3 billion from China. The Express Tribune reported that Pakistan is looking forward to stabilize its dwindling foreign exchange reserves and also seeks an investment bonanza in six sectors during the visit of Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing next week.
In addition to political engagement, the Pak premier would also seek Chinese support in areas of finance, trade, and investment.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan is set to depart for Beijing on 3 February. The Pakistani prime minister will attend the inaugural session of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.
The Express Tribune reported quoting government sources that a final meeting to shape the agenda of the visit would take place on Tuesday.
A senior finance ministry official said the government was considering requesting China to approve another loan to the tune of $3 billion in China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, known as SAFE deposits, the report said.
The Pakistan government is expected to tell the 75 Chinese companies that it provided access to trade routes to the Middle East, Africa, and the rest of the world offering greater incentives in the shape of reduction in the freight cost.
Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said, “Unlike in the past when we would only talk about Pak-Sino friendship being higher than the Himalayas and sweeter than honey, this time we are going to prepare for China with a structured approach.”
China has already placed around $11 billion with Pakistan in the shape of commercial loans and foreign exchange reserves support initiatives, including $4 billion in SAFE deposits.
The Chinese money is part of the country’s current official foreign exchange reserves recorded at $16.1 billion. In the last fiscal year, the country had paid over Rs.26 billion in interest cost to China only for using a $4.5 billion Chinese trade finance facility to repay the maturing debt.
Last month, Pakistan also received a Saudi loan of $3 billion, which the country has consumed. The foreign exchange reserves that before the Saudi injection stood at $15.9 billion have already fallen to $16 billion by January 21.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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