Is China using China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to colonize Pakistan just as the British East India company colonized India centuries earlier?
Will Pakistan be caught in a massive Chinese debt trap and eventually become China's colony? What are the terms of Chinese financing and investments in CPEC projects in Pakistan?
Are Pakistanis required to pay exorbitant interest rates on infrastructure loans and unreasonably high return on equity on power plant investments?
Is there an IBM-like organized campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) being waged by CPEC's detractors to convince Pakistanis that it's a zero sum game in which China's gain is Pakistan's loss?
Is there no possibility of win-win in CPEC for both China and Pakistan?
Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)
Campaign of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt Against CPEC
CPEC Financing: Is China Ripping Off Pakistan?
CPEC Transforming Least Developed Parts of Pakistan
Pakistan Rising or Falling? Reality vs Perception
Pakistan Generating Positive Vibes at Davos 2018
CPEC to Create Over 2 Million Jobs in Pakistan
Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom
Home Appliance Ownership in Pakistani Households
Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel
PakAlumni Social Network
Projecting Pakistan at Davos 2018
HELD in association with
the Swiss-Asian Cham
ber of Commerce (SACC), the PAKISTAN PAVILION established for the first time in World Economic Forum (WEF)’s 48 year history at its Annual Meeting at Davos 2018 force-multiplied the country’s presence at the high-profile event this year. A private sector initiative by Pakistan’s two leading business houses, PATHFINDER GROUP and MARTIN DOW GROUP, the Pavilion was manned by Pakistani entrepreneurs/professionals specially flown in from Pakistan from financial services, philanthropy, IT, media etc interacted with international investors, experts and officials and even laymen who came to the event. One must commend the tremendous support of Ms Barbara Möckli-Schneider, Secretary General SACC without whose indefatigable enthusiasm the “Pakistan Pavilion” would not have been possible. Barbara was outstanding representing of all that is good about the Swiss. While how to apply rules and regulations is the prerogative of those made responsible for it, one does not have to be stupid about it. That is why people like Barbara are far more important for the relations between two countries rather than any petty official. Thank you, SACC, thank you Barbara!
Pakistan’s private sector was represented at the Pakistan Pavilion by Javed Akhai, CEO Martin Dow Chemicals and myself as Chairman Pathfinder Group. Heads of various companies of the Pathfinder Group were in attendance. As the country’s largest provider of integrated security solutions and facilities management services, the Group is operational in all major cities and towns of Pakistan. Jawed Akhai, Chairman Martin Dow Group was quite optimistic, “This platform is very important to present the narrative of Pakistan. Many speakers have spoken about the Pakistani perspective and this is what is important, that we put across our point of view.”
Among the participants of the Pakistan Pavilion, the not-for-profit Aman Foundation is a Karachi-based Trust which has developed a complete healthcare eco-system, targeting important healthcare matters. It has been working in building long-term societal resilience by enabling equitable access to quality healthcare and education services. Visitors to the Pavilion were briefed about their philanthropist activities. Commenting on Aman’s presence at the World Economic Forum Aman Foundation’s Chairman and Co-Founder Fayeeza Naqvi said, “We are here as representatives of Pakistan’s social entrepreneurs to explore innovative, yet pragmatic, solutions to the complex social and economic challenges facing our world today. We hope that our participation will take us closer to our aspiration of transforming lives and empowering the most vulnerable in our communities.” We were really proud to have Aman Foundation as a philanthropic partner at Davos 2018 because “our visions to enable people to shape their own paths in life are aligned. In this respect, Aman has developed outstanding programs”.
Several other eminent Pakistani personalities were present, among them was Dr. Ishrat Husain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Dr Sania Nishtar, President and Founder Heart file the many lucrative opportunities that are offered to global investors despite the challenges being faced by Pakistan. Dr Ishrat was very eloquent about the challenges facing the economy and governance, visitors were impressed with his command of facts and his well thought recommendations about possible solutions. Speakers included Dr Huma Baqai, Sidra Iqbal, Amer Mahmood, etc Ambassador Mustafa Kamal Kazi. It was great to have Sultana Siddiqui and Duraid Qureshi of Hum TV there. Explaining in detail Pakistan’s economy, foreign policy imperatives, gender empowerment, the law and order situation, etc, they were credible and forthright in their presentations.
Pakistan's auto sales surge 23 pct in January 2018
The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association announced on Monday that Pakistan's locally assembled cars and Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) sales volume jumped by 23 percent to 23,562 units in January on the yearly comparison and by 22 percent on the monthly comparison.
The growth was largely attributed to Pak-Suzuki Motor Company's (PSMC) impressive sales numbers of the Wagon-R (an increase of 1,101 units) and Cultus (an increase of 680 units) and a strong response to Honda Atlas Cars' BR-V (an increase of 500 units).
Moreover, recent changes in import procedures have also resulted in a higher offtake for the less than 1,000cc segment, as consumers continue to shift to Pak-Suzuki Motor Company.
According to the Pakistani auto industry's official numbers, volumes for PSMC and Honda Atlas Car (HCAR) increased by 24 percent and 10 percent on yearly comparison while Indus Motor's volumes decreased by 7 percent.
Furthermore, growth was also recorded in LCVs sales, as they increased by 38 percent to 3,638 units in January this year when compared with the sales of 2,629 units in January last year.
Similarly, tractor sales continued to perform well, thereby registering 5,863 units for January, up by 9 percent as against 5,390 units in the same month of last year.
Moreover, motorcycles and three-wheelers also witnessed a fair bit of increase of 20 percent on the yearly comparison and 13 percent on the monthly comparison.
Imports of used cars in Pakistan jump 70pc
Imports of used cars and minivans surged to 65,723 units in 2017, up almost 70 per cent from 38,676 units a year ago, latest data released by the auto industry shows.
The arrival of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) also increased 59pc to 7,758 units. Imports of pickups and vans registered a 9pc rise to 3,154 units.
The local industry maintains a record of each imported vehicle, whether new or old, through the Import General Manifest (IGM). Every imported car is logged in the customs’ IGM.
Toyota Vitz remained the most popular imported car in 2017. As many as 8,680 units arrived in 2017, up almost 40pc from a year ago. The volume of Daihatsu Mira swelled 73.1pc to 6,091 units.
Pakistan looks to increase share of CPEC labor market
KHURSHID AHMED | Published — Friday 16 February 2018
KARACHI: Pakistan expects the demand for skilled manpower to grow exponentially as the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project expands.
“The total cost of CPEC projects has already gone from $46 billion to $62 billion and it is hoped that the total cost will rise to $100 billion by 2030,” Executive Director of the Planning Commission’s Center of Excellence (COE) for CPEC Dr. Shahid Rashid said in a press briefing on Thursday.
Many Pakistani institutes are now offering a range of courses — including Chinese-language — to enable Pakistani youths to find employment, and China has vowed to help set up a world-class vocational training institute in Islamabad. More institutes are expected to open in Pakistan in the near future to cover the expected rise in job opportunities offered by CPEC.
CPEC starts from Kashgar in Xinjiang, China, and reaches Karachi and Gwadar, on Pakistan’s south coast via the Khunjerab Pass.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing reiterated during a meeting with Executive Director of National Vocational and Technical Training Commission Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema that CPEC will provide job opportunities to thousands of trained Pakistanis.
Jing vowed that China will soon initiate special programs for Pakistani trainers, which will enable them to teach hundreds of Pakistani workers every year how to use modern machinery and equipment.
Majyed Aziz Balagamwala, president of the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan and a member of the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority, told Arab News that a training program “initiated with leading institutes” would produce 200,000 skilled workers in the next three years.
“We do not intend to just produce labor, our aim is to provide them with multiple skills so that they can get better jobs and play their role in the country’s economic uplift by contributing to CPEC,” he explained.
Analyst and CPEC expert Maqbool Afridi stressed the need to expand the skills of Pakistani workers.
“Chinese workers are highly technical. We need to change our attitude toward learning,” Afridi said. “If the Chinese can work with high tech knowledge, why can’t we?”
Afridi said CPEC is a world-class project that demands technically skilled manpower not only to run the projects, but also to balance the share of jobs between the two countries.
Despite substantial progress on CPEC, many are unhappy about how little information about the project has been shared with the public.
“We still don’t know much about the CPEC projects,” said Executive Director of National Organization for Working Communities Farhat Parveen. “The government has been secretive, instead of sharing information about the projects and the number of people required so that skilled workers are imparted with the required training.”
Pakistan has already lost sovereignty over Gwadar. By an Agreement, Gwadar port has been leased to China for 40 years.
Bhatia: "Pakistan has already lost sovereignty over Gwadar. By an Agreement, Gwadar port has been leased to China for 40 years. "
Australia has signed a 99-year lease for Port Darwin for China. Has Australia lost sovereignty there?
The issue of Chinese influence on Australian politics and business is one Irvine would prefer to see go away. In his view, the media has magnified the issue of foreign financial infiltration to the point of xenophobia.
Irvine, who can see exactly where the money is coming from – and where it is heading – is keen to hose down the notion that Chinese state control of Australian assets of any ilk is inordinately high. There is a sense of exasperation in his voice when he explains that China ranks fifth as a foreign investor in Australia; it has less invested here than in the Netherlands. “If you measure this by total cumulative sum investment, it shows that the top foreign investors are currently the US, Canada, the UK, Netherlands and China,” he says.
He admits however, that Chinese foreign investment is the fastest growing. “Yes, applications have been greater than [investors from] the US, Canada and the UK, in the past two years,” he says.
It doesn’t help, of course, when there is a perceived lack of transparency from the government when a foreign sale does go through. The sale of a 99-year lease on the Port of Darwin to Chinese interests was one which many pundits still find mystifying. (Irvine was appointed to FIRB shortly after this deal.)
Defence raised no objections to the A$500 million sale to a company with alleged links to the Chinese army, despite worries from the US military and the port’s proximity to US forces based in Darwin.
Who’s Afraid of China
Ishrat Husain is a former dean and director of IBA and a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.
The foremost singular contribution that has already made a significant and visible difference is the addition of 10,000MW to the generation capacity in Pakistan, in a span of four years. It has overcome chronic energy shortages, altered the fuel mix, and substituted plants with 61 per cent efficiency factor in place of those operating at 28 per cent, bringing down the cost to consumers. Electricity outages had cost the economy about 1.5 to 2 percentage points of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Export orders were cancelled and the buyers walked out of Pakistan as their traditional suppliers could not fulfil the orders on time, due to energy shortages. The value of exports took a dip, precipitating a balance of payments crisis. As new hydel, renewable, coal-based projects come on board, there will be a corresponding shrinking of imports of furnace oil and diesel.
The associated risk of an additional supply of power is that unless we restructure or privatise the distribution companies, or make the power distribution sector competitive, the circular debt would keep on rising. Distribution losses and non-recovery of dues have put enormous pressure on public finances, and the subsidies on this account may escalate if institutional reforms are not undertaken.
The second area that would benefit Pakistan is the construction of highways and the railway line linking Gwadar with Kashgar and the mass transit systems within big cities. The rehabilitation and upgrading of the main railway line with high speed trains, would relieve businesses of the high cost of domestic transportation of goods to and from Karachi (at present, the bulk of the freight is carried by a trucking fleet). The inner city mass transit systems in Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta, would provide safe and affordable public transport to the citizens, who face inconvenience and spend a lot of time and money in commuting to work. The reduced travel time and saving in transportation expenses would increase their productivity and also augment the purchasing power of the lower income and the lower middle-income group.
The western route would open up backward districts in Balochistan and southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and integrate them with the national markets. The communities living along the route would be able to produce and sell the output from their mining, livestock and poultry, horticulture and fisheries, to a much larger segment of consumers. Their transportation costs would become considerably lower, the proportion of perishables and waste would go down, cool chains and warehousing would become available and processing would become possible in the adjoining industrial zones. Access to a large trucking fleet and containers, with greater frequency and reduced turnaround, time may help in the scaling-up of operations. The fibre optic network would allow the citizens of these deprived districts access to the latest 3G and 4G broadband Internet connections.
A future perfect
Stephen Pinker’s case for optimism
“Enlightenment Now” explains why the doom-mongers are wrong
TO ANYONE who reads a newspaper, this can seem a miserable world. Syria is still at war. Another lunatic has gone on a gun rampage in an American school. The tone of political debate can rarely have been as crass and poisonous as it is today.
Front pages are grim for the same reason that Shakespeare’s plays feature a lot of murders. Tragedy is dramatic. Hardly anyone would read a story headlined “100,000 AEROPLANES DIDN’T CRASH YESTERDAY”. Bad things often happen suddenly and telegenically. A factory closes; an apartment block burns down. Good things tend to happen incrementally, and across a wide area, making them much harder to film. News outlets could have honestly reported that the “NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY” every day for 25 years. But readers might get bored.
The world is about 100 times wealthier than 200 years ago and, contrary to popular belief, its wealth is more evenly distributed. The share of people killed annually in wars is less than a quarter of that in the 1980s and half a percent of the toll in the second world war. During the 20th century Americans became 96% less likely to die in a car crash, 92% less likely to perish in a fire and 95% less likely to expire on the job.
Best of all possible worlds
Progress has often been stunningly rapid. The vast majority of poor Americans enjoy luxuries unavailable to the Vanderbilts and Astors of 150 years ago, such as electricity, air-conditioning and colour televisions. Street hawkers in South Sudan have better mobile phones than the brick that Gordon Gekko, a fictional tycoon, flaunted in “Wall Street” in 1987. It is not just that better medicine and sanitation allow people to live longer, healthier lives, or that labour-saving devices have given people more free time, or that Amazon and Apple offer a dazzling variety of entertainment to fill it. People are also growing more intelligent, and more humane.
In every part of the world IQ scores have been rising, by a whopping 30 points in 100 years, meaning that the average person today scores better than 98% of people a century ago. How can this be, given that intelligence is highly heritable, and clever folk breed no more prolifically than less gifted ones? The answer is better nutrition (“brains are greedy organs”) and more stimulation. Children are far likelier to go to school than they were in 1900, while “outside the schoolhouse, analytic thinking is encouraged by a culture that trades in visual symbols (subway maps, digital displays), analytic tools (spreadsheets, stock reports) and academic concepts that trickle down into common parlance (supply and demand, on average, human rights).”
Belief in equality for ethnic minorities and gay people has shot up, as demonstrated not only by polls (which could be biased by the knowledge that bigotry is frowned upon) but also by internet activity. Searches for racist jokes have fallen by seven-eighths in America since 2004. Those who enjoy them are dying out: online searches for racial epithets correlate with interest in “Social Security” and “Frank Sinatra”, Mr Pinker notes. Even the most conservative places are loosening up. Polls find that young Muslims in the Middle East are about as liberal as young western Europeans were in the early 1960s.
Mr Pinker has answers for all these questions. In 45 out of 52 countries in the World Values Survey, happiness increased between 1981 and 2007. It rises roughly in line with absolute income per head, not relative income. Loneliness, at least among American students, appears to be declining. Global warming is a big threat, but not insurmountable. The number of nuclear weapons in the world has fallen by 85% since its peak.
Pakistan Scholar Program: 2014-2015 Information and Application
Current Wilson Center Pakistan Scholar
Khurram Husain, 2013-14
Previous Wilson Center Pakistan Scholars
Simbal Khan, 2012-13
Zahid Husain, 2011-12
Huma Yusuf, 2010-11
Dr. Sabiha Mansoor, 2009-10
Amb. Riaz Mohammad Khan, 2008-09
Dr. Samia Altaf, 2007-08
Khaled Ahmed, 2006-07
Dr. Mushtaq Khan, 2005-06
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, 2004-05
The Wilson Center
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is Washington's only independent, wide-ranging, non-partisan institute for advanced research where vital current issues and their historical and cultural background are explored through research and dialogue. Created by the Congress of the United States as the nation's official memorial to its twentieth-eighth president, the Center seeks to commemorate through its residential fellowship program both the scholarly depth and the public policy concerns of Woodrow Wilson.
This competition is open to men and women who are from, and based in, Pakistan. Applications will be accepted from individuals in academia, business, journalism, government, law, and related professions. Candidates must be currently pursuing research on key public policy issues facing Pakistan, research designed to bridge the gap between the academic and the policymaking worlds.
The Wilson Center customarily expects its visiting scholars to possess the terminal degree in their field. For academics, such as university professors, the terminal degree generally means a Ph.D. But other professions have different terminal degrees; for journalists or businesspeople, it could well be a B.A. In exceptional cases, the Wilson Center will waive the terminal degree requirement for highly qualified and unusually talented applicants. But under no circumstances will the Pakistan Scholar competition be open to anyone currently pursuing a graduate degree or working on a doctoral dissertation.
In addition, applicants must have at least eight years of professional or research experience. Preference will be given to applicants who have published scholarly books or substantial articles in academic or policy-related journals or newspapers.
Applicants must be completely fluent in both written and spoken English.
Length of Appointment and Responsibilities
Pakistan Scholars will be in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center for the U.S. academic year, September 2014 - May 2015. While at the Wilson Center, Pakistan Scholars will be expected to carry out a full schedule of rigorous research and writing based on the topic outlined in the research proposal submitted at the time of application. They will also be expected to participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences organized by the Center's Asia Program, and in other ways to participate in the intellectual life of the Wilson Center and the larger community of South Asia observers in Washington.
The stipend provided to Pakistan Scholars is $5,000 per month. In addition, the Wilson Center will also pay a portion of health insurance premiums for the scholar, and provide assistance for travel from Pakistan. The scholars will be provided with suitable work space, a Windows-based computer, and where feasible, a part-time research assistant.
The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor
by Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
(Jun 01, 2018)
Topics: Political Economy
Places: Asia , China , Pakistan
U.S. imperialism has played an unambiguously destructive role in Pakistan for most of the country’s seventy-year history. Aside from decisively empowering the military establishment, its support of religious militancy in the 1980s precipitated a complete transformation of the body politic. The secular political traditions of other societies in the region were similarly undermined by the rise of millenarianism, with Afghanistan worst affected. Today Washington seeks to maintain its waning influence in the region through a zero-sum strategic game that has seen India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan pitted against one another, forcing their own people to bear the cost.
In this context, China’s claim to advance a development agenda that transcends the narrow geopolitical calculus that has long defined regional dynamics should be evaluated carefully. The biggest question mark in the OBOR strategy in South Asia remains Beijing’s frosty relations with New Delhi. Still, the volume of official trade between China and India totaled almost $71 billion in 2016—nearly six times that between China and Pakistan. Thus economic ties are expanding despite the Modi government’s nationalist posturing. In any case, China’s growing economic and political role in the region necessarily means that the era of Washington’s unrivalled hegemony, especially in its longtime frontline state of Pakistan, has ended.
Yet the discussion above confirms the danger that China’s emergent hegemony represents more of the same for Pakistan’s long-suffering people, especially those from historically underrepresented ethnic groups. There has also been little evidence so far that the ideal of building an “ecological civilization” that has gained credence in China in recent years is anything more than an afterthought when it comes to Chinese investments in Pakistan.12
Even if one takes the rather blunt metric of CPEC financing, the rhetoric is far removed from reality. Of the $28 billion injected into Pakistan’s economy by late 2016 through CPEC’s “early harvest” projects, $19 billion was in the form of commercial loans. In the not-too-distant future, this portends yearly debt repayments of more than $3.5 billion.13 It is not at all clear, then, that China offers a financial alternative to the International Monetary Fund/World Bank juggernaut that has already saddled Pakistan with a foreign debt burden approaching $80 billion.
Perhaps most importantly, China’s seemingly apolitical developmental intervention is consolidating the existing structure of power in Pakistan, and in particular the military establishment that Washington helped make into the country’s dominant force. Recent events suggest China is exerting some pressure on Pakistan’s GHQ to break with the religious militants long used as proxies against India and Afghanistan.14 This would make sense, given China’s commitment to expanding market exchange through its infrastructural and other investments, and the attendant fear that these investments may be threatened by militant movements in Pakistan.
Even if peace were achieved overnight, however, the Chinese vision of “development” would not represent a genuine and sustainable alternative to neoliberal development practices as they have been institutionalized around the world. China’s intervention in Pakistan thus cannot be considered the progressive “other” to the destructive militarism—both state and non-state—that U.S. imperialism and domestic elites have imposed on Southwest Asia for decades.
Xinhua Headlines: Economic corridor changes Pakistan's business, economic landscape
Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-08 13:35:15|Editor: Lu Hui
ISLAMABAD, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Five years after its launch, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has achieved magnificent results that help lay a solid infrastructure foundation for Pakistan's economic development.
Under the long-term and systematic framework of CPEC, several projects in areas of energy, transportation infrastructure and port construction have been completed.
Pakistan's Ministry of Energy said that the completed CPEC power projects have brought a great change in the energy sector by bringing the power cut hours to zero form 12-14 hours a day in 70 percent of the country.
Two coal-fired power projects equipped with the latest state-of-the-art environment-friendly technology -- the 1,320-megawatt Sahiwal coal-fired power project in the country's Punjab and the Port Qasim coal-fired power plant with the same capacity in southern port city Karachi -- have already started production.
The two projects are expected to generate 18 billion KWh of electricity together annually, which can cater for the needs of eight million local families.
The CPEC power projects not only have eased daily lives of Pakistanis but are also creating hundreds of thousands of jobs by helping restart the industries that were closed due to power shortage.
Besides the coal-fired power plants, CPEC also provides new energy to Pakistan so as to diversify the country's energy sources to maintain its energy security. Part of the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park is functional and three wind power farms are also supplying electricity in southern Sindh province, while two such projects will also start their commercial operations later this year.
Pakistan's Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms said that energy projects under CPEC will double the energy-thirsty country's current capacity of electricity production after their completion.
Yasir Rehman, an anchor from the official Pakistan Television, said that the developed infrastructure under CPEC is bringing stimulus to the Pakistani economy, creating jobs and improving business by starting a constructive process.
"Uninterrupted power supply is helping industries increase production, creating an ideal atmosphere for Pakistan's economy," said Rehman, adding that with the functionalized Gwadar port, CPEC will benefit every common Pakistani.
Gwadar, the ending point of CPEC, which was once an ignored small sluggish fishing town located at the Arabian Sea in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan Province, is now witnessing a wave of development projects which are creating new opportunities for employment and business.
Gwadar port, with the fully functional port terminal, regular cargo service, free zone, business center, is a symbol of future development and prosperity of Pakistan.
According to China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC), the port's operator, some 20 companies in different businesses have already joined the Gwadar free zone with direct investment of 3 billion Chinese yuan (over 460 million U.S. dollars).
Gwadar's local people are feeling the development impetus triggered by the rapidly developing port, construction of new roads, establishment and upgrading of educational institutions and hospitals, construction of a new international airport and installation of water purification plants.
Thousands of people, from laborers to businessmen, have migrated from across the country to Gwadar to grab emerging opportunities for business and employment since the launch of CPEC.
In the meantime, CPEC has also brought major improvements and overhauls to Pakistan's transportation infrastructure by upgrading and reconstructing already existing roads and building new superhighways.
Western route of CPEC to be completed earlier than eastern route: Chinese envoy
Acting Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Zhao Lijan Friday said that under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), western route of the project would be completed earlier than the eastern route.
Speaking at the National Press Club here about CPEC Project, the Chinese envoy dispelled rumors about the Western Route and said that western route of CPEC would be completed earlier than the eastern route.
He said work on various project under the CPEC was going with full speed and 22 projects would be completed during the current year while 18 projects would be completed next year.
He said around 70,000 Pakistanis had got employment in these projects.
The Chinese envoy said under the CPEC, the government had plan to complete a total of 200 projects till 2030 which would provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of people.
He expressed the hope that the next government in Pakistan would also continue the pace of progress on CPEC projects.
About Gwadar Port, he said, Gwadar International Airport would be completed in October this year. He said fisheries was an important sector of Gwadar and establishing a re-processing plant at the port Pakistan could further increase its exports.
He invited the overseas Pakistanis to come to their country and invest in Gwadar Port, adding that more than 30 Pakistanis companies had been registered at the Port.
He said the investors were being provided facilities of electricity, gas, water and wifai.
In energy projects under the CPEC, he said, $13 billion were being invested, adding that several energy projects had been completed which had overcome load-shedding problem in Pakistan to a great extent.
Under the CPEC, he said industrial parts would be established in Pakistan.
To a question, he said Pakistani were hard workers and capable people and if they could make an atomic bomb then stabilizing their economy was not a big task for them. He said in the 1970s decade Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was equal to China, adding that today’s success story of China was a result of hard work and dedication of Chinese people.
He said that China desired improvement in Pak-India relations and both Pakistan and India could resolve their issues with peaceful dialogue.
In late March, the government of Italy signed a memorandum of understanding to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s $1 trillion plan to develop land and sea trade routes from Asia to Africa to Europe. Italy is the first large European economy to do this, agreeing in principle to deals with China worth about $2.8 billion in investment in a variety of sectors.
This set off alarm bells in the White House and groans in the European Union. While the Trump administration fretted about yet another Chinese attempt to expand its sphere of influence, the EU stressed that Italy was undermining Europe’s ability to engage with China as a single bloc.
Italy’s rationale for joining the Belt and Road Initiative is straightforward: An influx of Chinese investment could help push Italy out of its economic doldrums. Meanwhile, Italian exporters could gain access to China’s massive domestic market. That sounds attractive enough, but Italy would be wise to look to other countries that have signed up for the initiative and the challenges they’ve faced. Pakistan’s experience in particular is telling.
At first blush, the two countries seem wildly different. Italy is a member of the G-7 and the world’s eighth largest economy. Pakistan, despite having more than triple the population, barely cracks the top 40. It has also been bailed out by the IMF nearly 15 times.
On closer inspection, though, the two countries share important similarities.
Both Pakistan and Italy are heavily burdened with debt: As of 2018, Pakistan’s debt was 73 percent of GDP, and Italy’s was an eye-popping 132 percent.Both Pakistan and Italy are heavily burdened with debt: As of 2018, Pakistan’s debt was 73 percent of GDP, and Italy’s was an eye-popping 132 percent. Each is reliant on external help: Pakistan has required a combination of IMF loans and the support of the Gulf states and China to keep it in the black. Similarly, since the 2008 financial crisis, Italy has relied on bailouts from the European Central Bank. To compound matters, Italy’s growth rate has been near zero.
As a result, both states have been hungry for external capital, both are in search of new markets for their exports, and both need to claw their way out of debt. In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided that Belt and Road fit the bill, and he opened his country up to a wave of Chinese investments in 2015.
The results have been mixed. China has indeed poured money into Pakistan, but it’s been in the form of loans to Pakistan that it must then give to Chinese firms to set up shop there. Those firms have invested in equipment bought in China—not Pakistan. With little capital going into Pakistan, the country’s debt burden has only shot up. Pakistan is now negotiating with the IMF for a new bailout, but the IMF’s concern about the lack of transparency of Pakistan’s debts to China has complicated matters.
One can foresee similar tensions arising in Italy: a European Central Bank that is reluctant to come to the aid of an Italy that takes on greater debt in exchange for less transparency. The United States has advanced the argument that the IMF and its donor states shouldn’t subsidize Pakistan’s dealings with China. Italy could find itself in a similar position with the European Central Bank.
“392-Km $2.89 billion M5 #motorway completion is a milestone for #CPEC, the $62 billion flagship of China's Belt and Road Initiative (#BRI) that includes roads, railways, power plants, ports seeking to link #China with #Pakistan” https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/china-pakistan-key-cpec-motorway-reportedly-completed-2-weeks-ahead-schedule via @Stratfor Worldview
What Happened: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor's (CPEC) M5 motorway connecting Sukkur with Multan has been completed two weeks ahead of schedule, according to a July 24 Xinhua report.
Why It Matters: The motorway's completion is marking a milestone for CPEC, the $62 billion flagship initiative of China's Belt and Road Initiative that includes roads, railways, power plants and ports seeking to link western China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan.
Background: The 392-kilometer project is part of the Peshawar-Karachi Motorway, was completed within three years at the cost of $2.89 billion and is set to open for traffic in August.
Phase-II of CPEC, flagship BRI project, much broader in scope: Pakistan Ambassador to China
Phase-II much broader in scope: Ambassador
GT: The first brick of the CPEC was laid in 2013, it has been nine years, can you comment on the current status of CPEC construction efforts? Tackling the energy shortage was frequently mentioned in the earlier years of the CPEC, how is the situation now?
Haque: The CPEC marks a new phase in Pakistan-China relations by placing economic cooperation and connectivity at the center of bilateral agenda. Being the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it aims to enhance connectivity and trade linkages between Pakistan, China and the region through a network of roads, rail, fiber optic, energy pipelines, industrial clusters and Special Economic Zones.
In its first phase, the CPEC has helped us develop major infrastructure and address our essential energy needs. The energy projects which have already been completed include 1,320 megaWatt (MW) capacity coal-fired power plants in Sahiwal (Punjab), Port Qasim (Karachi) and Hub (Balochistan); 660MW Engro Thar coal power project; 1,000MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur (400MW project is complete while 600MW is under-implementation), and some smaller wind & solar energy projects. A mega, 878-kilometer long, Matiari to Lahore ±660 KV HVDC Transmission Line project has also been completed with the capacity to evacuate 4,000 MW electricity.
It has also upgraded Pakistan's national and international highway network to provide more reliable Pakistan-China connectivity across the Karakoram Mountains and smoother inland communications. The CPEC investment and its spin-off effects have also generated thousands of jobs.
GT: How do you see the current challenges and opportunities facing the CPEC in 2022? What's there to be built in the second phase?
Haque: It is a matter of great satisfaction that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years, the CPEC cooperation and work on all projects continued unhindered. The recently held 10th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee reviewed wide-ranging cooperation under the CPEC framework and identified more areas of cooperation including establishment of a Joint Working Group on Information Technology and Industry, which is expected to support high-quality development of the CPEC as envisioned by the leadership of the two countries.
While the first phase of CPEC was mainly focused on infrastructure and energy projects to cater to the immediate needs, the high-quality CPEC phase-II is much broader in scope and focuses on industrial relocation, agricultural modernization, science and technology cooperation, job creation and our people's socio-economic well-being. We are also making rapid progress on the development of the Gwadar Port and Free Trade Zone, which would promote regional connectivity and economic integration.
GT: What is the current level of third-party participation in the construction of the CPEC?
Haque: As the CPEC aims to promote regional integration and win-win cooperation, Pakistan and China have agreed to welcome and encourage high-quality investments and introduction of advanced technologies and expertise in the CPEC from third-party partners who are ready to work with us for common development.
The two countries are jointly working to finalize a mechanism for third-party cooperation under the CPEC framework before formally processing such requests.
GT: Regional cooperation is a key word for 2022 and BRI construction is also progressing rapidly. How do you see Pakistan's and CPEC's role in this direction?
Haque: Pakistan is one of the earliest supporters and participants of the BRI. We emphatically endorse the spirit and philosophy of the BRI, which seeks to transcend national boundaries and lay bridges for a win-win cooperation and closer economic integration for a shared future.
#US led #G7 to raise $600 billion to counter #China's #Belt-#Road that involves #infrastructure development in over 100 countries. #Biden, other G7 leaders relaunch newly renamed "Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment". #CPEC #Pakistan https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/world/g7-aims-to-raise-600-billion-to-counter-chinas-belt-and-road-8741651.html
Group of Seven leaders on Sunday pledged to raise $600 billion in private and public funds over five years to finance needed infrastructure in developing countries and counter China's older, multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project.
U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders relaunched the newly renamed "Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment," at their annual gathering being held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.
Biden said the United States would mobilize $200 billion in grants, federal funds and private investment over five years to support projects in low- and middle-income countries that help tackle climate change as well as improve global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure.
"I want to be clear. This isn't aid or charity. It's an investment that will deliver returns for everyone," Biden said, adding that it would allow countries to "see the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies."
Biden said hundreds of billions of additional dollars could come from multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, sovereign wealth funds and others.
Europe will mobilize 300 billion euros for the initiative over the same period to build up a sustainable alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative scheme, which Chinese President Xi Jinping launched in 2013, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the gathering.
The leaders of Italy, Canada and Japan also spoke about their plans, some of which have already been announced separately. French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were not present, but their countries are also participating.
China's investment scheme involves development and programs in over 100 countries aimed at creating a modern version of the ancient Silk Road trade route from Asia to Europe.
White House officials said the plan has provided little tangible benefit for many developing countries.
Biden highlighted several flagship projects, including a $2 billion solar development project in Angola with support from the Commerce Department, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, U.S. firm AfricaGlobal Schaffer, and U.S. project developer Sun Africa.
Together with G7 members and the EU, Washington will also provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal as it develops an industrial-scale flexible multi-vaccine manufacturing facility in that country that can eventually produce COVID-19 and other vaccines, a project that also involves the EU.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will also commit up to $50 million over five years to the World Bank’s global Childcare Incentive Fund.
Friederike Roder, vice president of the non-profit group Global Citizen, said the pledges of investment could be "a good start" toward greater engagement by G7 countries in developing nations and could underpin stronger global growth for all.
G7 countries on average provide only 0.32% of their gross national income, less than half of the 0.7% promised, in development assistance, she said.
"But without developing countries, there will be no sustainable recovery of the world economy," she said.
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