Saturday, June 28, 2014

China Lays Out Pak-China Rail Link Plan at International Silk Road Event

China has funded a study to build an international rail link from the city of Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Western China to Pakistan's deep-sea Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, according to Zhang Chunlin, director of Xinjiang's regional development and reform commission.

"The 1,800-kilometer China-Pakistan railway is planned to also pass through Pakistan's capital of Islamabad and Karachi," Zhang Chunlin said at the two-day International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, according to China Daily. "Although the cost of constructing the railway is expected to be high due to the hostile environment and complicated geographic conditions, the study of the project has already started," Zhang said. "China and Pakistan will co-fund the railway construction. Building oil and gas pipelines between Gwadar Port and China is also on the agenda," Zhang added.

Source: China Daily


The Pak-China link announcement was part of the discussion on China's broader effort to revive the historic Silk Route by building three main corridors through southern, central and northern Xinjiang to connect China with Russia, Europe and Pakistan. The Silk Road Economic Belt International seminar which concluded on Friday in Urumqi, Xinjinag was jointly sponsored by the State Council Information Office, China International Publishing Group (CIPG), China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences.




In a report last year, China's State-owned Xinhua News Agency articulated China's motivation to expand land trade in addition to building its navy to protect its sea trade. Here's what it said:

“As a global economic power, China has a tremendous number of economic sea lanes to protect. China is justified to develop its military capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty and protect its vast interests around the world."

The Xinhua report has for the first time shed light on China's growing concerns with US pivot to Asia which could threaten China's international trade and its economic lifeline of energy and other natural resources it needs to sustain and grow its economy. This concern has been further reinforced by the following:

1. Frequent US statements to "check" China's rise.  For example, former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a 2011 address to the Naval Postgraduate School in California: "We try everything we can to cooperate with these rising powers and to work with them, but to make sure at the same time that they do not threaten stability in the world, to be able to project our power, to be able to say to the world that we continue to be a force to be reckoned with." He added that "we continue to confront rising powers in the world - China, India, Brazil, Russia, countries that we need to cooperate with. We need to hopefully work with. But in the end, we also need to make sure do not threaten the stability of the world."

Source: The Guardian


2. Chinese strategists see a long chain of islands from Japan in the north, all the way down to Australia, all United States allies, all potential controlling chokepoints that could  block Chinese sea lanes and cripple its economy, business and industry.



Karakoram Highway-World's Highest Paved International Road at 15000 ft.


Chinese Premier's emphasis on "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" is mainly driven by their paranoia about the US intentions to "check China's rise" It is intended to establish greater maritime presence at Gwadar, located close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and  to build land routes (motorways, rail links, pipelines)  from the Persian Gulf through Pakistan to Western China. This is China's insurance to continue trade with West Asia and the Middle East in case of hostilities with the United States and its allies in Asia.

Pakistan's Gawadar Port- located 400 Km from the Strait of Hormuz


As to the benefits for Pakistanis, expanded trade and the Chinese investment in "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" will help build infrastructure, stimulate Pakistan's economy and create millions of badly needed jobs.

Clearly, China-Pakistan ties have now become much more strategic than the US-Pakistan ties, particularly since 2011 because, as American Journalist Mark Mazzetti of New York Times put it, the  Obama administration's heavy handed policies "turned Pakistan against the United States". A similar view is offered by a former State Department official Vali Nasr in his book "The Dispensable Nation".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings 

How Strategic Are Pak-China Ties?

US-Pakistan Ties and New Silk Route

Can Pakistan Say No to US Aid?

Obama's Pakistan Connections

Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective

China's Investment and Trade in South Asia

China Signs Power Plant Deals with Pakistan

Soaring Imports from China Worry India

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

Yuan to Replace Dollar in World Trade?

China Sees Opportunities Where Others See Risk

Chinese Do Good and Do Well in Developing World

Can Chimerica Rescue the World Economy?

23 comments:

Imran said...

Should connect the central corridor to the souther through, Zahidan, Quetta link. RCD was a threat to many international powers but seems the way for the future.

Nadeem H. said...

fulfills national dream of rent seeking. We contribute nothing. Just live off Chinese gifts.

Riaz Haq said...

Nadeem H: " fulfills national dream of rent seeking. We contribute nothing. Just live off Chinese gifts."

Chinese don't gift anything to anybody. China won't, can't build rail-link without Pakistan cooperation and some Pak funding

Anonymous said...

Many over optimistic officials of Pakistan say this corridor has the ability to eliminate poverty and unemployment in Pakistan... What do you think Mr Haq?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Many over optimistic officials of Pakistan say this corridor has the ability to eliminate poverty and unemployment in Pakistan... What do you think Mr Haq? "

No single project can do it by itself. However, Pakistan's economic integration with world's fastest growing and soon-to-be-largest economy can go a long way toward achieving that goal over time.

Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/eyes-defense-deals-western-powers-rush-court-indias-042734379--sector.html

pacm said...

Riaz bhai, when ever you post something good about Pakistan, there are always extremely bitter Hindu haters/trolls (like anonymous @ 28 and 29 June) out there. What do you think is the problem with them? Plus when you were abroad, do they behave like this there too, or Pakistanis there are too preoccupied in being Americans that they ignore slurs against their home land?....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Bangkok Post Op Ed by Ali Khizar on China-Pakistan trade and investment:

While the potential for trade with India is high, it accounts for just 5% of total volume due to longstanding military tension between the wary neighbours, while Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan are on...
------
One country that is taking a bigger slice of the pie is China, which is on pace to become Pakistan’s biggest trading partner. Its share of official trade has doubled in the last decade and in absolute...
-------

China has pledged to invest $32 billion in energy, transport and infrastructure projects in Pakistan in the next five to seven years. The Exim Bank of China has agreed to fund these projects in both the...
--------
As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch – Pakistan has to be cautious in selecting these projects and should not fall into a state of complacency. These investments will be in the form of loans...


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/418135/chinese-help-for-pakistan-comes-at-a-high-price.

CanadianBoy said...

Dear Pacm:
Don't be too harsh on them,there are valid reasons to their irrational emotions,they have been ruled by foreigners for over a thousand years and once liberated were left with half the territory of their native land. I would imagine anybody else would also act bitter in such a situation. Just ask the native Americans.Let them be happy with the militant violence in Pakistan(former part of Bharat) while their own half-left Bharat implodes from the inside:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Seven-police-commandos-killed-in-Naxalite-landmine-blast-in-Gadchiroli/articleshow/34987594.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan-China connectivity plans include high-speed fiber-optic connections as well.

With this new link, Pakistan is going to enjoy the redundant internet voice and data connectivity through China. Country is currently severed with spurs through undersea cables namely SEA-ME-WE 3&4 and IMEWE.

This dependency is not only a risk but also entails security concerns, noted APP. The voice/data and internet traffic can be monitored and disturbed easily. To offset such a threat, through this project, a link will be created between Pakistan and Trans-Asia Europe (TAE) cable in China, which would enable both Pakistan and China to have alternative routes for their international telecom traffic,” said the report citing its source.

http://propakistani.pk/2013/08/05/pak-china-optic-fiber-link-to-get-completed-in-2-years-for-44-million/

The elites of both countries have termed Pakistan-China Economic Corridor as “future of the world,” as almost 3 billion people, which is almost half of the world’s population, from China, South Asia, Central Asia could benefit from this economic corridor.

The official data provided by Pakistan’s Federal Ministry of Planning and Development showed that being one of the biggest transit trade routes in the world, it would link China to the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and other regions and give access to the landlocked countries to the world biggest markets, India and China.

It stated that the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor would be of high economic value as about the 3 billion people at both sides of the border would be its direct beneficiary while the overall bilateral trade volume would be increased to 7 billion dollars.

The data further showed that Pakistan intends to get the greatest benefit out of this project and for that it has planned to establish industrial parks and economic zones along the Kashgar-Gwadar trade corridor.

Pakistan’s central government’s seriousness to get maximum benefits from the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor can be judged with the fact that it has already approved the projects worth 52 billion to be started in the economic zones.

Dr. Zafar Mehmod, a prominent economist, opined that the poverty rate would be reduced to the minimum while the unemployment would almost come to an end.

Talking about the economic corridor, Javed Shahzad Malik, the high official of Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, said the dream of building up economic corridor is being translated into reality and work is under way to upgrade KKH, motorways, and railway lines, fiber optic, and oil and gas pipe lines.

He said a number of tunnels with overall length of 200 km would be constructed on different locations to maintain the vehicular speed on KKH at 80 km per hour.

Speaking with a Kabul-based Journalist, writer and political activist who worked as an advisor in the Hamid Karzai government, Azam Beg Tajik hoped that such a trade route would become a profitable hub and economic activity center, serving as a lifeline to the economy of the country in the near future.

Given the future economic prospects highlighted by the experts, government officials and local people, it is expected the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor would not only help boost economic activities but also bring the socioeconomic conditions and living standard in this region at par with other developed regions of the world.

http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/pakistan-china-economy-315/

Riaz Haq said...

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council on Thursday approved a dozen development schemes worth Rs428 billion including projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and raising of Balochistan Constibulary.
Under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the ECNEC also approved the construction of Karachi-Multan-Lahore Motorway (KLM) Project’s Sukkur-Multan leg. The approval came just days before a Pakistani delegation is set to leave for China to discuss financing issues of infrastructure and energy sector projects that will be completed under the economic corridor project.
The 387 kilometer long Sukkur-Multan project will be completed at a cost of Rs259.4 billion. 90% of the project cost will be funded by China, according to a handout issued by Ministry of Finance after the ECNEC meeting. The remaining cost of the project will come from PSDP.
The project is expected to be completed by October 2017 and will be executed by National Highway Authority. The project envisages construction of 387 km long, six lanes, Sukkur-Multan section and is part of 1,148 km Karachi-Lahore Motorway.
The body also approved land acquisition, affected properties compensation and relocation of utilities for construction of the Motorway. This will cost Rs51 billion.
With the approval of the land acquisition and construction of a section of the Karachi-Lahore motorway, the issue of Pak-China corridor route has been settled. In order to address security concerns on the old western route through Balochistan, the government has opted for the new Eastern route despite protestations from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan parliamentarians.
The old route was along the western lines of the country but passes through some restive areas. Pakistan and China have agreed to construct the economic corridor that will give access to western parts of China to Gwadar port for international trade and secure energy supplies for the future.
Balochistan projects
The ECNEC approved a project for raising the Balochistan Constabulary at a cost of Rs5.2 billion. The project is aimed at assisting police and district administration in maintaining law and order in the crisis hit province.
The project will see a 10,000 strong Balochistan Constabulary for which 6,000 personnel will be recruited. 4,000 reserve police personnel will be merged into this force to raise it to 10,000 members.
The constabulary will also be responsible for ensuring security along the economic corridor.
Gwadar free trade zone
The body also approved acquisition of land for establishment of Free Trade Zone in Gwadar at a cost of Rs6.5 billion.
The project aims to acquire 2,281 acres of land for establishing a free trade zone at Gwadar Port. 1,627 acres of the required land would be acquired from private land owners.
The meeting also approved the widening and improvement of the 250 km long Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road section of National Highway N-25 with a revised cost of Rs 19.2 billion.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/730784/ecnec-approves-construction-of-387-km-leg-of-karachi-lahore-motorway/

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is eying the Beijing’s proposed huge investment of about $40 billion over the next eight years in the country’s energy, water, coal, roads and other infrastructure projects.

According to the Board of Investment, a sizeable growth will be recorded in the foreign direct investment inflows from the next year’s second half.

The BOI has also established facilitation centers in Islamabad and other provincial capitals to assist small entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses valued less than Rs100 million, Dr Miftah Ismail, special assistant to the prime minister and chairman of BOI, told the media persons on Tuesday.

These offices will facilitate small and medium enterprises through one-window operation in obtaining utility connections and government registration approvals at federal, provincial and district levels. These types of legal and other administrative approval always take time.

“We are working with the provinces on simplification of their laws regarding businesses establishment, as the government wants to encourage business and creation of jobs,” said the chairman.

Business persons who want to establish their businesses will have to first apply to the head office and if they require support in provinces in taking approvals or permits, “Our directors and other officers will fully facilitate them.

This facility is available to investors and entrepreneurs with capital of Rs100 million or less,” he said.

Dr Ismail said the investment to gross domestic product ratio decreased substantially to 14 percent in 2013-14 from 19.2 percent in 2007-08 because of lowering local and foreign investments.

The fixed investment to GDP ratio was recorded at 12.4 percent as against 13 percent last year.

Pakistan’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and on the ‘Global Competitiveness’ has been deteriorating over the last several years.

In ease of doing business, the country’s rank was at 61, which gradually slid to 110 in 2014.

The investment board chief said the board has developed an implementation plan to simplify the procedures and reduce time/cost for investment facilitation and business improvement.

For that, the board is consulting with the finance ministry, Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Employees’ Old-age Benefits Institution.

Besides, said the PM special assistant, the board is focusing on improvement of the five indicators in ease of doing business index, including starting a business, dealing with construction permit, tax payment, trading across borders and enforcing contract.

“We will try to simplify them as much as possible to facilitate investors and save their time.”

He said business regulatory environment is particularly relevant for small and medium enterprises – the key driver of competition, economic growth and job creation, especially in developing countries like Pakistan.

SMEs employ some 80 percent of non-agricultural labor force and contribute about 40 percent towards the gross domestic product.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-260596-Pakistan-eyeing-$40-billion-investment-from-China

Riaz Haq said...

To finance infrastructure projects connecting South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Europe along an integrated land corridor

China has taken a firm step to implement its vision of the Silk Road Economic Belt — an initiative to integrate the economies of Asia and Europe along the Eurasian corridor — by putting into operation its $40 billion infrastructure fund for this purpose.

The fund, flagged in November last by Chinese President Xi Jinping, has started functioning on the lines of Private Equity (PE) venture. With China as the fulcrum, it is meant to finance development of roads, rail tracks, fibre optic highways, and much more, that would connect South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Europe along an integrated land corridor.

Funds can also be allocated for the Maritime Silk Road (MSR), which envisions development of ports and facilities, mainly in the Indian Ocean. These ports will be connected to the hinterland by a string of land arteries, which will eventually hook up with the main Silk Road Economic Belt at specific junctions.

Xinhua quoted President Xi as saying during the November meeting with officials from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan that the purpose of the fund is to “break the connectivity bottleneck” in Asia.

The Chinese President had offered investors from Asia and beyond to join the Silk Road fund for the development of specific projects.

The $40 billion fund was in addition to the decision to establish a $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is also meant to help finance construction in the region.

On Monday, the semi-official China Business News quoted Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), as saying the $40 billion fund “has already started operations, with registration on December 29 and the first board meeting on January 6”.

China has poured part of its foreign exchange reserves in the fund, which include investors such as the China Investment Corp, the country's sovereign fund, and China Exim-Bank.

Analysts point out that as its economy slows down from its earlier blistering pace, China has developed large overcapacity in construction material, including cement and steel. China’s “One Road, One Belt” strategy, aimed at establishing new “growth engines” along the Eurasian corridor, could well absorb some of this surplus.

In an editorial in China Daily, Justin Yifu Lin, former chief economist of the World Bank, wrote: “The strategy is good for the stabilisation and development of the world economy and China, as it has a large overcapacity in construction materials.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/chinas-silk-road-fund-becomes-operational/article6902549.ece

Riaz Haq said...

New #railway tracks to be laid from Kotri to Attock in #Pakistan under #CPEC- http://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/pakistan/new-railway-tracks-to-be-laid-under-cpec …

Some 1,254 kilometres of railway track from Kotri to Attock City via Dadu, Larkana, Jacobabad, DG Khan, Bhakkar, Kundian will also be upgraded.
AdTech Ad
Islamabad: Pakistan has planned a major installation and upgradation of railway tracks under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday.

Under the plan, new railway tracks will be laid from Gwadar to Quetta and Jacobabad via Besima.

Five hundred and sixty kilometres of track will be laid from Bostan to Kotla Jam on main line-II via Zhob and Dera Ismail Khan, while 682km of track will be laid from Havelian to Khunjrab, the state-run broadcaster's website said.

Upgradation of 1,872km of railway track from Karachi to Peshawar via Kotri, Multan, Lahore, and Rawalpindi (including Taxila-Havelian) - along with dualisation of track from Shahdara to Peshawar - will also be carried out.

Some 1,254 kilometres of railway track from Kotri to Attock City via Dadu, Larkana, Jacobabad, DG Khan, Bhakkar, Kundian will also be upgraded.

Further, the government on Saturday gave its final go-ahead to four mega projects, including two road construction schemes under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at a revised cost of Rs862 billion - Rs214 billion or one-third higher than original estimates.

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the 969-megawatt Neelum Jhelum Hydropower project as well as CPEC's 118-kilometre-long Havelian-Thakot and 392-km Sukkur-Multan sections of roads. It also approved the National Highway N-70 East-West Road Improvement Project.

Riaz Haq said...

#Karachi-#Peshawar railway line being upgraded under #CPEC #Pakistan #China

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/22-Jan-2016/karachi-peshawar-railway-line-being-upgraded-under-cpec …

Feasibility study for rehabilitation and up-gradation of main railway line from Karachi to Peshawar is in progress under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Ministry of Railways sources said the project will be completed by 2020 with the help of the Chinese government. On the completion of CPEC project, speed on main line will be increased from 105 KMPH to 160 KMPH.

Apart from this, five years plan is also being prepared for rehabilitation and improvement of railways track on the network.

Riaz Haq said...

#China to build its first overseas naval base at #Djibouti. #India #Pakistan #Africa #CPEC #Gwadar http://reut.rs/1UHH5b7 via @Reuters

China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing's contribution to regional security and development.

The message is in stark contrast to Beijing's more bellicose stance on the South China Sea, where its claims on a vital trade waterway have raised hackles across Asia and the United States.

China has repeatedly said it does not seek a U.S.-style "hegemony" by extending its military reach, including through bases abroad.

Now that it appears it may be doing precisely that, the government has been quietly briefing on its rationale for the Djibouti base and using state media to address fears of China's aims.

"China is explaining it as part of the 'one road, one belt' strategy, to help link Ethiopia to the sea," said one Western diplomat who has been briefed by Chinese officials on the Djibouti base, referring to China's New Silk Road strategy.

That involves opening trade corridors across continents that will help bolster the Chinese economy and connect it with the rest of the world.

A $4 billion railway will connect Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa to Djibouti's new Chinese-invested port, where a military facility will be located, according to Chinese media.

A second diplomat, also been briefed by China on the plans, said it was an "unusual" move by the normally secretive Chinese government to try and bring a degree of transparency to its plans.

"China does not want to be seen as a threat," the diplomat said.

INDIAN ALARM

In a lengthy statement to Reuters, China's Defence Ministry confirmed it had communicated its intentions about Djibouti to "relevant countries and international organizations", reiterating the facility was mostly for resupply purposes for anti-piracy, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.

"What needs to be stressed is that China upholds a path of peaceful development ... and has never engaged in an arms race or military expansion. This will never change."

Djibouti, which already hosts military facilities for the United States and France, has echoed Beijing's line that the base will be used for refueling and other logistical support to fight piracy and protect trade routes.

But it also says the West should not be worried if China seeks "military outposts", given that Western nations have had them for years around the world.

Construction began in February in the country of fewer than a million people, striving to be an international shipping hub.

Djibouti's location on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fueled worries in India that it will become another of China's "string of pearls" of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Indian military officials told Reuters that China's naval presence in Djibouti would add another dimension to India's military contingency planning, so far confined to land and air operations stemming from a decades-old border dispute with China across the Himalayas.

Together with China's involvement in Pakistan's Gwadar port, another potential military base, the role of China's navy would be greatly enhanced and posed a threat to the Indian navy, Indian army brigadier Mandip Singh said in a paper for the government-funded Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

"Djibouti also enables China to base its long-range naval air assets there. And these are capable of maintaining surveillance over the Arabian Sea as well as India's island territories off the Western coast," he wrote.

The Western diplomat briefed on the Chinese plans added: "If I were Indian I would be very worried about what China is up to in Djibouti."

Riaz Haq said...

#US has much bigger global agenda with #India than #Pakistan: Says US Def Sec Ashton Carter - The Economic Times http://ecoti.in/P0zksb

"With respect to Pakistan, that also is an important security partner. A whole lot of issues of which counter-terrorism looms largest. And we work with the Pakistanis all the time on that," he said.

"We are long past the point in US policy-making where we look at the India-Pakistan dyad as the whole story for either one of them. We have much more to do with India today than has to do with Pakistan," Carter said.


"The days are gone when we only deal with India as the other side of the Pakistan coin, or Pakistan as the other side of the India coin. I know that there are those in India and Pakistan who are still glued to that way of thinking. But the US put that behind us some time ago," Carter said yesterday in response to a question on impact of India-US relationship on Pakistan at the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR), a top American think-tank.

Riaz Haq said...

#China-#Pakistan railroad will help curb extremism: Ex-Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz. #CPEC

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/18/china-pakistan-railroad-will-help-curb-extremism-ex-pakistan-pm.html

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a railroad which will traverse western China through Pakistan, will help job creation as well as help to curb terrorism as people grow more prosperous, Pakistan's former prime minister told CNBC on Wednesday.

The $46B deal agreed upon between China and Pakistan will allow China to avoid its current maritime sea routes to bring products into the Middle East and Europe.

It will develop connectivity and create economic activity in Pakistan, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said.

"When you build a road or a highway through an area where there is none, you create economic activity, you create jobs, secondly new cities come up along that route , thirdly you have industrial estates coming so a lot of job creation takes place," said Aziz.

Despite a warning from the Pentagon that China is looking to set up a naval base in the country, the Pakistani army chief visited Beijing earlier this week to further discuss the project and the Pakistani army's involvement.

The Pakistani army will provide 15,000 special security forces to protect the investment in Pakistan, which has suffered greatly over the years due to security and terrorism issue.

"Whenever you have empty bellies, people get more vulnerable and subject to extreme behavior. If you create economic activity and give them a reason to live, if you give them a better tomorrow than yesterday, people tend to be more peaceful," said Aziz.

"We have seen over the years that in areas that have grown fast and where economic growth is strong, extremism and terrorism reduces," Aziz told CNBC.

"This is a serious initiative and we will do all what it takes to provide security and leverage this linkage between the warm waters of the Arabian sea all the way up to China."

Riaz Haq said...

China To Invest $8.5 Billion To Upgrade Pakistan's Rail Network, Build Gas Pipeline: Report

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/china-to-invest-8-5-billion-to-upgrade-pakistans-rail-network-build-gas-pipeline-report-1417247


China will invest about USD 8.5 billion to upgrade Pakistan's rail network and to build a key gas pipeline with Iran to meet the country's energy needs, a media report said today.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP), a Pakistan body to authorise major projects, yesterday approved USD 10 billion worth two projects. China will provide loans equivalent to 85 per cent (USD 8.5 billion) of the cost of each project.

The cost of upgrading of Pakistan Railways existing Mainline (ML-I) and establishment of a dry port near Havelian is USD 8.2 billion, which the Chinese government will finance with a USD 7 billion concessionary loan, The Express Tribune reported.

This project is part of USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) package and is covered under the CPEC Framework Agreement, signed during the April 2015 visit of Chinese president to Pakistan.

The estimated cost of Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal & Pipeline project, also cleared in principle, is USD 2 billion including USD 1.4 billion Chinese loan. This project is strategically important for Pakistan as it will eventually link the country's gas network with Iranian system.

"The exact costs of both the projects will be firmed up after finalising financing arrangements," CDWP Chairman and Minister for Planning, Ahsan Iqbal, said.

"After finalisation of the financing arrangements, both the projects will be taken to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) with firmed up cost for final approval," he said.

At present, Pakistan Railways is picking up less than 4 per cent of the traffic volume of the country, which the government intends to increase to at least 20 per cent by 2025.

The project is planned to be completed in two phases in five years by 2021 on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode. Phase-I will be completed by December 2017 and Phase-II by the year 2021.

The CDWP also cleared Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project at an estimated cost of roughly USD 2 billion or Rs. 206.6 billion.

The Chinese Exim bank will provide 85 per cent of the financing under government-to-government mode. The EPC contract will be given to a Chinese company. The pipeline project will be included in the CPEC framework.

The key objective of this project is to overcome gas shortages by importing LNG and its transportation through Gwadar-Nawabshah pipeline.

In phase-I, the pipeline will follow the coastal pipeline corridor, which was formally established for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. In phase-II, a 90-kilometer patch will be constructed from Gwadar to Pakistan-Iran border to tie the national network with Iranian system.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to launch $US 8.2bn upgrading #railway track project. International Railway Journal #CPEC http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/main-line/pakistan-to-launch-dolus-82bn-line-upgrading-project.html?channel=524 … via @railjournal

THE Pakistan government has approved a $US 8.2bn project to upgrade the 1872km Karachi - Peshawar main line by 2021, 85% of which will be funded by a concessionary loan from China the terms of which will now be negotiated.


The project is part of the $US 46bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a framework agreement for which was signed in April 2015 during a visit to Pakistan by China's president Mr Xi Jinping.



The work will be carried out in two phases, with the first due for completion in December 2017 and the second in 2021. The project will include track relaying, and upgrading of bridges, tunnels, and culverts, with the objective of increasing the axleload from 22.8 tonnes to 25 tonnes. A dry port will also be constructed at Havelian and the 55km line from there to Taxila will be upgraded.

Pakistan Railways currently has a 4% share of national traffic and the government wants to increase this to at least 25% by 2025.

Riaz Haq said...

#China to lend $5.5 B and ADB another $2.5 billion for #Pakistan's $8 B #Rail link project. #CPEC http://ecoti.in/z8wb4Z via @economictimes

About 75 per cent of the country's (rail) cargo and passenger traffic passes through the 1,687 km-long Peshawar-Karachi rail line.

Earlier, China had agreed to provide $3.7 billion out of the $46-billion CPEC program for the ML-I project and "now it has decided to increase its contribution to $5.5 billion," Iqbal said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) would provide $2.5 billion t ..


The Peshawar-Lahore section of the ML-I will be built with the ADB loan.

The rail project would be completed in five to six years after which the rail speed would double to 180 kilometres per hour.


Riaz Haq said...

Regional cooperation forum: #CAREC offers avenues for deeper economic links among Stans #CentralAsia #Pakistan #CPEC

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1215393/regional-cooperation-forum-carec-offers-avenues-deeper-economic-links/

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan recently hosted the 15th meeting of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (Carec), a body working for the collective benefit of the region by promoting economic cooperation.

Pakistan is increasingly looking at Central Asian states in an effort to forge trade links and give a fillip to its dwindling exports. However, so far, it has not been able to tap the full trade potential because of lack of infrastructure for connecting the South and Central Asia regions.

Carec is also pushing ahead with plans to encourage regional connectivity to enhance the trade volume.

In the Carec meeting, more than 200 participants from 10 member states and multilateral development partners participated. The member countries included Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan while Georgia took part as an observer.

Carec is an important forum that encourages regional countries to develop physical networks and infrastructure and ensure peace, stability and economic development.

Strategies and initiatives were highlighted at the huddle to stimulate much-needed investment in energy sector of the member states. After a briefing on selected case studies undertaken by Carec members including Pakistan, prominent investors shared their insights to identify and make investments in energy projects.

Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appreciated that Carec had mobilised $29 billion for pouring into regional development projects and voiced hope that a mid-term review of the regional body in the next 10 years would prove to be an opportunity to fast-track economic cooperation.

The regional connectivity may lead to economic development and prosperity of the region. In this connection, Pakistan is working on energy projects such as the Central Asia-South Asia 1,000-megawatt (Casa-1,000) power import project and the Tapi gas pipeline that will start from Turkmenistan.

The Casa-1,000 is also going to pave the way for digital connectivity between the two regions through a fibre optic cable network called Digital Casa-I, which will link Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The existing cable reaches Pakistan after going through a long route. It first goes to Russia, extends to Europe and then comes to Pakistan.

The new project will provide a good route to connect the two regions. It will allow regional countries to become independent while tapping the international internet channels.

CPEC support

In his welcome address at the Carec ministerial meeting on the theme “Linking connectivity with economic transformation”, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme, which Pakistan had undertaken, would complement regional connectivity initiatives of Carec members.

He stressed that the CPEC offered a massive opportunity for connectivity between Central Asia, Middle East and Africa and was bound to play a defining role in economic development of the two regions.

Dar said improving the transport corridor was not an end in itself but it was an investment in establishing sound infrastructure and complementary frameworks for shared prosperity of the present and future generations in the region.


------


The markets of Central Asian states and Russia are open and this is the area where Pakistan needs to increasingly focus on.

With an air of distrust between Islamabad and Washington over the latter’s inclination towards Delhi, China and Russia could not only support Pakistan’s economy, but they will also block India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan in the international arena. To achieve all that, Pakistan needs to forge deeper links with the Central Asia region and Carec can play a decisive role in that connection.

Riaz Haq said...

CPEC to strengthen CAREC by expanding north-south corridor:


The primary north-south transport corridor in Pakistan runs from Torkham on the northern border with Afghanistan and passes through primary production and population centres such as Peshawar, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, and Khanewal, before reaching the port city of Karachi in the south. The corridor serves the economy of an area that accounts for 80 percent to 85 percent of the country’s GDP and in the regional context, forms an integral part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors 5 and 6 after Pakistan's accession to the CAREC Programme in 2010.

------


The M-4 Motorway, linking Faisalabad with Khanewal, would be completed by July 2018, said National Highway Authority (NHA) member Mansoor Ahmed Sirohey on Friday.

He told journalists that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the leading financer in M-4 Motorway, as the bank disbursed $170 million (77 percent share of the project) in 2009 for construction of a 58km four-lane motorway M-4, connecting Faisalabad to Gojra (section I). This section was completed in December 2014.

Similarly, the ADB would provide 56.15 percent share of the funding of the section II of the M-4, which will construct the 62km four-lane access controlled motorway connecting Gojra and Shorkot. Meanwhile, government of the United Kingdom would provide grant of 29.02 percent and Pakistan would release share of 14.83 percent. The project is expected to complete by 2018, he added.

Sirohey said that contract for section-III of the motorway linking Shorkot to Khanewal has been signed and construction is expected to commence in December 2016. The ADB noted that M-4 Motorway in Punjab, linking Faisalabad with Khanewal, will cut travel time and support the government's broader goal of improved investment and trade flows along the country's vital north-south corridor route. Once fully completed, the M-4 Motorway will provide a faster, safer, more cost-effective north-south route to the currently overburdened national highway 5 and other existing narrow and congested routes.

http://nation.com.pk/business/19-Nov-2016/project-to-be-completed-in-2018-nha-member