ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, Pakistan said that Saudi Arabia would not be made part of the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework and the kingdom’s proposed investments would fall under a separate bilateral arrangement.
Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar said there was no decision to bring a third country, like Saudi Arabia, under the framework of the CPEC at a press conference.
He was responding to a question about the possibility of Saudi Arabia becoming part of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) or Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on the CPEC between China and Pakistan. He said there could be many offshoots of the CPEC where third countries could be involved in trilateral arrangement for infrastructure development, like China-Pakistan-Japan, China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia or China-Pakistan-Germany.
Minister says there could be many offshoots of the project where third countries could be involved
“Saudi Arabia is not to become a collateral strategic partner in the CPEC. This impression is not true,” he said, adding that the third country participation in the CPEC was not limited to Saudi Arabia but other countries could also become part of the business and investment ventures arising out of the CPEC. “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.”