China to invest heavily in Pakistan

Oct. 18, 2008 at 1:12 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- China is expected to offer vital financial assistance to the struggling Asian country of Pakistan, officials say.

While details regarding potential loans from China were not released, Pakistani President Asif Zardari has been visiting China in the hopes of raising at least $2 billion to aid his country's failing economy, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quresh has confirmed China has agreed to help his country build two nuclear power plants as part of a dozen new accords between the two countries.

A Pakistani economic adviser, Shaukat Tarin, said Pakistan would not default on any loans it receives from countries such as China during its ongoing economic crisis, the British newspaper said.

"I am very confident that I have plans to make sure, whatever it takes that we should build our reserves and that we do not default," Tarin said.

Meanwhile, former World Bank Vice President Shahid Javed Burki said such international assistance for Pakistan can be expected.

"There's an appetite in the world for helping Pakistan," Burki said. "What we need to do is to come up with credible programs that can translate this interest into financial assistance."

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