Pakistan’s Imran Khan to visit China next week for Belt and Road Forum

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, second right, meets with China’s President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 2, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 17 April 2019
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Pakistan’s Imran Khan to visit China next week for Belt and Road Forum

  • China has pledged about $60 billion in infrastructure loans for Pakistan, touted as a success story of its Belt and Road initiative
  • But Pakistan’s economy has hit serious turbulence over the past year

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China next week to meet its leaders and deliver a keynote speech at the vast Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, the South Asian nation’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, as economic anxiety grows at home.
China has pledged about $60 billion in infrastructure loans for Pakistan, touted as a success story of its Belt and Road initiative, which aims to build road and maritime trading routes across the globe.
But Pakistan’s economy has hit serious turbulence over the past year and Islamabad is now finalizing a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stave off a balance of payments crisis, despite more than $10 billion in short-term loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia.
Khan will visit China from April 25, and give a keynote speech at the three-day Belt and Road Forum that starts the following day. The high-profile gathering is one of China’s biggest annual state events.
“In addition to participating in the Belt and Road Forum, the Prime Minister would also hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang,” the ministry said in a statement.
The two countries will sign several pacts to enhance cooperation, and Khan will meet corporate and business leaders, it added.
Khan’s visit to Pakistan’s all-weather friend China comes as his government, in power since August, faces a deepening economic crisis, with a ballooning current account deficit and fast-depleting foreign reserves.
It initially tried to avoid an IMF bailout by securing loans from friendly countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates but has since changed tack and said it had agreed in principle to turn to the IMF.
The long-delayed rescue package would be Pakistan’s 13th IMF bailout program since the late 1980s.


MODON to establish integrated pharmaceutical complex

Updated 23 May 2019
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MODON to establish integrated pharmaceutical complex

JEDDAH: The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) has signed an industrial land lease covering more than 62 thousand square meters in the city of Madinah, to build a pharmaceutical complex including research and development centers, with a total investment reaching SR 570 million.

MODON’s Director General Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Salem said that the signing of the contract was the result of joint work with the National Program for the Development of Industrial Compounds. MODON provided various facilities and incentives to support the investment, with the project set to provide nearly 1000 jobs for both genders with a localization rate exceeding 50 percent.

He added that the project is in line with the goals of the National Industrial and Logistics Development Program (NIDLP) to localize the most advanced industries in the world, in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030 for economic diversification.

Since its inception in 2001, MODON has been developing integrated industrial lands in accordance with the highest international standards. It currently oversees 35 industrial cities under development in various regions of the Kingdom, in addition to supervising private industrial parks and cities. The developed industrial lands exceeded until today 198.8 million square meters, while the existing industrial cities include 3,474 productive factories.