[Quetta, Pakistan] Pakistan’s poorest province is set to sign a deal with China Wednesday allotting thousands of acres of land for Beijing to develop a massive special economic zone in the deep sea port of Gwadar, officials told AFP.

The 40-year lease will see the government of Baluchistan hand over a 923-hectare swathe of tax-exempt land as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an ambitious US$46 billion investment plan linking western China to the Arabian Sea.

The contract assigning the land to the China Overseas Port Holding Company is being signed on Wednesday in Gwadar, according to Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chief of the Gwadar Port Authority.

The contract will allow China to build an export zone and an international airport, Baluchistan’s top provincial official said Tuesday.