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February 21, 2019

Pakistan to invite international bids next week for building 184-mile highway

Pakistan plans to invite international bids to build a highway that will support a Chinese-funded infrastructure being described as a game-changer in the region.

The proposed highway in the Sindh province would require foreign investment of $1.7 billion and will link Hyderabad ad Sukkar, a Bloomberg report said quoting National Highway Authority Chief Shahid Ashraf Tarar.

Described as China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the $46-billion infrastructure Chinese-funded program is seen as the largest in the world and includes construction of roads, highways and power projects.

The NHA is expects Turkish, Malaysians and South Korean companies, besides China, to come for the bid.

Pakistan’s economy has seen an upward swing in the past three years helped by a $6.6 billion International Monetary Fund loan sought in 2013 which prevented the country to default on its external commitments.  It is for the second time in the country’s history that an IMF program was taken to the end.

Economy has averaged nearly 5 percent since the government  of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took over after a landslide victory in the 2013 election, after posting a mere 3 percent growth in the preceding five years.

Pakistan is witnessing lowest inflation in its history supported by improved security situation following the launch a military operation in June 2014 that has limited space for terrorists to maneuver.

The proposed six-lane highway on the eastern route of CPEC is expected to start in the first quarter of the next year, the report said, adding that China is spending $11 billion of total CPEC investment on infrastructure projects, most of it in Balochistan province, hope to the deep-sea port in Gwadar.

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