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China, Pakistan ink transport pact


10:36, July 06, 2013

Premier Li Keqiang with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (left) ahead of a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. WU ZHIYI / CHINA DAILY

Huge project to boost business ties between the two nations

China and Pakistan signed an agreement on Friday on the blueprint for a huge transport project linking northwestern China to the Arabian Sea.

Observers said the project, named the "China-Pakistan economic corridor", will open a new route for China's goods and energy.

It will also give a strong boost to Pakistan's economy and help maintain security there, they said.

The broad agreement was among eight pacts signed after a meeting at the Great Hall of the People between Premier Li Keqiang and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The cost of the economic corridor project is not known at this stage.

"Our two countries can closely link China's Western Development Strategy with Pakistan's development strategy of reviving its economy," Li told Sharif at their meeting.

"This will also deepen regional cooperation in South Asia and benefit people of the two countries and the region."

The transport link is described as a "long-term plan'' to connect Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to the southwestern Pakistani port of Gwadar, more than 2,000 km away across a mountainous area.

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