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China, Pakistan Announce Long-term Economic Partnership

Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistani Minister of Planning and Development, speaks during the launch ceremony of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) long-term cooperation plan in Islamabad on December 18.

(Reuters) – Beijing and Islamabad have unveiled a long-term cooperation plan in economic development envisioning cooperation until at least 2030 in areas ranging from infrastructure to information technology.

It is the first time the two countries have announced how long they plan to work together on the project, known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The long-term CPEC plan was announced at a ceremony in Islamabad on December 18. Pakistani Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing attended the ceremony.

The document did not, however, give specific details on the projects, such as terms and conditions of investments and loans, nor did it provide details for Special Economic Zones, some of which are already underway in Pakistan.

CPEC, a flagship of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative to build a new "Silk Road" of land and maritime trade routes across more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa, represents a $57 billion investment in Pakistan.

The long-term plan highlighted key cooperation areas between the two neighbors, which include connectivity with road and rail infrastructure, information network infrastructure, energy, trade and industrial parks, agriculture, poverty alleviation, and tourism.