ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan and China on Thursday signed a Letter of Exchange (LoE) for “Rehabilitation of Specific Sections of National Highway N-5 Project” was also signed.
Under the agreement, the Chinese government will provide grant assistance of RMB 659.8 million (US$ 100 million) for the rehabilitation of four Sections (66 kilometers in total) of the National Highway (N-5) between Hala (District Matiari) and Moro (District Naushahro Feroze) in Sindh province.
The project will help to improve road infrastructure and augment the North-South connectivity.
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan Nong Rong and the Secretary Economic Affairs Noor Ahmad signed the agreements in Islamabad on behalf of respective governments.
Talking to the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, the Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said that the National Highway 5 (N-5) is an important road that extends from the south part to the north and west border in Pakistan, and carries a large amount of traffic capacity. Unfortunately, this road was seriously damaged by the record flood in 2010.
At the request of the Pakistani government, the Chinese government helped repairing parts of N-5 and N-5 Sections during 2011 and 2016.
With the joint efforts by the Pakistani and Chinese workers, the rehabilitation work was completed at the end of 2016, and greatly improved the road conditions of the relevant sections.
Considering the importance of the N-5 road, the Chinese government agrees to rehabilitate the remaining 66 kilometers of the N-5 road with the Chinese grant in accordance with the previous bilateral agreement.
The Chinese ambassador added that the new Project of Rehabilitation of N-5 Road is the largest road project funded by the Chinese grant in recent years in Pakistan.
The implementation of this project will further increase the traffic capacity while facilitating people’s travel along the route.
Construction of the project will also create considerable employment, and promote related building materials and transportation sectors along the route
The Embassy will work closely with the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and other relevant departments to ensure the project starts at the earliest.
Ambassador Nong Rong concluded with a Chinese saying which means “to be rich, build roads first”. He hoped that the full function of N-5 road will definitely bring fortune and prosperity to the Pakistani friends.
The minister for economic affairs lauded the grant assistance extended by the government of China for various infrastructure and socio-economic projects in Pakistan.
Khusro Bakhtiar also appreciated the significant work of Joint Working Groups on Socioeconomic Development and Transport Infrastructure under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The minister highlighted that the socioeconomic projects agreed therein are in line with the vision of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for socio-economic uplift of the common people and enhanced economic activities in the Country.
Both sides also discussed the progress of on-going projects financed by the Chinese government.
The minister for economic affairs also appreciated the Chinese assistance for combating the COVID-19 pandemic and locust attack.