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China Offers US$500m Preferential Loan to Pakistan

China has offered a preferential loan of US$500 million to Pakistan for bilateral trade and economic cooperation, said An Min, Chinese vice-minister of commerce Tuesday.

An announced the deal, offered by Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday during his talks with visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

He said at a Pakistan-China business forum the trade and economic cooperation between China and Pakistan is fruitful, with many projects completed in Pakistan.

"Pakistan and China are cooperating in the economic field since the inception of our friendship," Musharraf said at the forum. " There are numerous monuments of this friendship all across Pakistan, such as Karakarun Highway, Heavy Mechanical and Electrical complexes, Saindak copper and gold mines project and more recently the Gwadar Deep Sea Port."

He said the Gwadar project, including the port and the highway from Gwadar to Karachi, would be completed before December 2004 and Pakistan would build a road system linking the two ports and build a free trade zone.

Riaz Mohammad Khan, Pakistan ambassador to China, said Gwadar Port would be the third largest port in Pakistan and it would improve regional trade development.

(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2003)

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