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International relations

Pakistan's Gwadar loses luster as Saudis shift $10bn deal to Karachi

Infrastructure gaps behind Riyadh's decision to move oil refinery to more developed area

KARACHI -- Saudi Arabia has decided to shift a proposed $10 billion oil refinery to Karachi from Gwadar, the center stage of the Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan, further supporting the impression that the port city is losing its importance as a mega-investment hub.

On June 2, Tabish Gauhar, the special assistant to Pakistan's prime minister on power and petroleum, told the media that Saudi Arabia will not build the refinery at Gwadar but will construct it along with a petrochemical complex somewhere near Karachi. He added that in the next five years another refinery with a capacity of over 200,000 barrels a day could be built in Pakistan.

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