Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Professor Ahsan Iqbal Saturday said that maximum benefits would be achieved from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, undertaken by both the countries.
Addressing an International Academic Symposium on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor held at Peking University in Beijing, the Minister said that the bilateral cooperation would grow from strength to strength with the success of the corridor, according to a press release.
“The ultimate objective [of CPEC] is peace, prosperity and well-being of the people of the two countries, the region and the world,” he said, hoping that further understanding on CPEC, achieved during the symposium, could provide further improvements to the corridor’s planning.
Ahsan Iqbal highlighted recent progress on CPEC, saying that the long-term planning was expected to be finalised by July this year and the working group on industrial cooperation was also expected to meet around the same time.
He said that the land for Free Zone at Gwadar had been transferred to the Chinese company operating the port, for development as an industrial area.
He said that it was hoped that economic activity along the corridor would flourish and more industrial activity would be generated in industrial zones and estates in Pakistan, through forward and backward linkages.
He said Pakistan would be keen to use the opportunity to set up enterprises that become part of the global value chain of products traded internationally.
The minister said that both sides were committed that fruits of development of the corridor should benefit all areas of Pakistan, consistent with scientific planning parameters.
He said that CPEC would connect the nodes of growth centres including significant growth centres of Kashgar, Taxkorgan, Khunjrab, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Quetta, Karachi, Gwadar etc and such other nodes/growth centres which may fall within the CPEC in the future.
Ahsan Iqbal said the corridor would be connected with the trade facilitation corridors, dedicated freight corridors, energy corridors, trade logistics corridor, telecommunications corridors and other corridors of the like.
Sadly when such strategic deals are done between unequal partners, the gains are also unequal. China will invest in infra, security, trading, logistics which will surely provide employment to many (better than otherwise) but it will not support local development of industry and reverse trade. Once you've taken $40Billion, you cannot start to argue with China on trade imbalance. The biggest issue of course is that much of the $40B will go to line the pockets of modern-day Zardaris who will have settled themselves overseas before the locals start feeling the real imbalance of the project. Not to mention, development befpre security/stability is also very difficult. This project is a great and expanded target for many a state-hating-terrorist and will be difficult to secure. God forbid, any Chinese gets hurt, then all bets will be off…
For a real time issues and impacts of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, please read the following article :-
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