(Adds Chinese Foreign Ministry comment)
KARACHI, Pakistan, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Pakistan expects to secure soft loans from China totalling around $1 billion for three road projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a Pakistani official said on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, agreement will be signed between the two countries in this regard in China-Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting to be held on Dec. 29 in Beijing,” Ashraf Zaman, spokesman for Pakistan’s National Highway Authority (NHA) told Reuters.
The roads lie on the western route of CPEC, a $55 billion network of roads, rail links, power plants and other infrastructure connecting western China to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.
They include roads from Raikot to Thakot, Yarik to Zhob and from Basima to Khuzdar, Zaman said, adding that the deal to finance the three roads was struck last month.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no details about the meeting or any financing deals to be reached, but that the economic corridor project was an important one for both countries. (Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; writing by Asad Hashim; editing by Andrew Roche and Simon Cameron-Moore)