Pak, China agree to expedite implementation of railway projects

Lu Dongfu says friendship between two countries provided the essential strength to overcome potential obstacles

Pakistan and China have agreed to expedite implementation of railway projects to expand connectivity between the two countries. The consensus was emerged at a meeting between Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal and Administrator of the Chinese National Railways Administration Lu Dongfu in Beijing. During the meeting both sides expressed satisfaction over cooperation in railways projects including the ML1 (Karachi-Peshawar) railway project underway between Pakistan and China and discussed ways of its speedier implementation. Lu Dongfu said friendship between the two countries provided the essential strength to overcome potential obstacles. He said CPEC playing key role in economic connectivity would change the dynamics of economic development in the region. He said both countries share the vision for developing effective railway system from Kashghar to Gwadar which would provide a cost competitive mode of transportation and instant connectivity to China for transportation of goods. Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal on this occasion said that CPEC projects are on ground and ahead on implementation. He said railways transportation is a critical element of connectivity between Pakistan and China.

Govt to raise up to $1bn through sukuk issue in US

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday finalised plans for immediate launch of $500 million to $1 billion Islamic bonds (sukuk) in the US capital market and reduced fertiliser prices further by Rs110 per bag to offload huge stocks. Presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the ECC decided to start process for the launch of sukuk in Washington on Tuesday and wind up the transaction by Oct 5, 2016. The timing of the bond launch has been selected to coincide with successful completion of its programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is expected to release its last $102m tranche of the $6.64bn programme on Sept 28.

ADB’s road map to help attract investment in mineral sector

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has finalised a road map for attracting private-sector investment from both domestic and international investors in the mineral sector of Pakistan, especially in Balochistan. The road map, contained in the final report which has been prepared at the completion of a small-scale policy and advisory assistance, has been designed to help the federal government and Balochistan manage and address issues relating to mining leases and mine development. It will also guide the government in resolving ongoing and avoiding future disputes in large-scale mining transactions, and other immediate barriers to attracting investment into the mineral sector of the country.

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