CPEC en­gine of growth

The Diplomatic Insight - - Editor's Note -

HE ar­gu­ments of whether China Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) is a game changer or not and whether it has na­tional con­sen­sus have per­haps out­lived their lives. CPEC is in­deed a game changer with an un­prece­dented na­tional con­sen­sus. The stage is now set to cap­i­tal­ize on the de­liv­er­ables of the Early Har­vest from the low hang­ing fruits. Count­less opin­ion pieces and mes­sages on so­cial me­dia have been cir­cu­lat­ing to weave myths and am­bi­gu­i­ties around CPEC been hell bent to prove that CPEC is a ‘game-over’ while this is far from truth. CPEC is an en­gine of growth that is strength­en­ing Pak­istan’s econ­omy by sup­port­ing our quest to achieve eco­nomic re­vi­tal­iza­tion. CPEC will fur­ther mo­bi­lize Pak­istan’s po­ten­tial of lo­ca­tion ad­van­tage, de­mo­graphic div­i­dend and other eco­nomic el­e­ments. In re­cent years, Pak­istan’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment has grown steadily in terms of both the speed and qual­ity. Dur­ing the Belt and Road Fo­rum held in Beijing this April, Pak­istan re­mained the cen­ter of at­ten­tion. Dur­ing the the­matic ses­sions, re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity, pol­icy ar­tic­u­la­tion and speed with which CPEC projects are be­ing ex­e­cuted was ap­pre­ci­ated by Chi­nese and del­e­gates of other par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries. The Fo­rum made Pak­istan’s strate­gic im­por­tance clearly ev­i­dent. The im­pacts of im­proved eco­nomic growth are tan­gi­ble. To­day, in­vestors across the world from Amer­i­cas, Europe and UK eye Pak­istan as a lu­cra­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. The are op­ti­mistic about the eco­nomic out­look for Pak­istan. The mag­a­zine “Econ­o­mist” rec­og­nizes Pak­istan as the world’s fastest grow­ing Mus­lim econ­omy. The Stan­dard & Poor’s and Fitch have up­graded Pak­istan’s credit rating from “B-” to “B”. Pak­istan is among this year’s global top 10 im­provers, says Do­ing Business 2017: Equal Op­por­tu­nity for All re­leased re­cently by World Bank. Th­ese con­sis­tent pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tors and out­comes man­i­fest the con­tin­u­ous trail pos­i­tive vibes leave no room for the of naysay­ers. Among the many myths, it is wrongly be­lieved that CPEC will be ex­plained that CPEC be­ing a Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI) is rooted in the Silk Road spirit of peace, co­op­er­a­tion, open­ness, in­clu­sive­ness, mu­tual prin­ci­ple of ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion, joint eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion un­der the am­bit of CPEC is also rooted with the aim of ‘forg­ing a shared des­tiny’ for mankind. CPEC is not the name of a sin­gle route or align­ment, rather it is a com­pre­hen­sive pack­age of co­op­er­a­tive ini­tia­tives and projects en­com­pass­ing re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity, in­for­ma­tion net­work in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion, in­dus­tries and in­dus­trial parks, agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment and co­op­er­a­tion as well as liveli­hood im­prove­ment in­clud­ing mu­nic­i­pal in­fra­struc­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, pub­lic health and peo­ple-to peo­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion which will re­sult in thou­sands of new ven­tures and mil­lions of jobs in every part of coun­try. The ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive is peace, pros­per­ity and well-be­ing of the peo­ple of the two coun­tries, the re­gion and the world. The de­vel­op­ment of trans­port in­fra­struc­ture un­der CPEC is pri­mar­ily meant to elim­i­nate con­nec­tiv­ity bot­tle­necks in or­der to en­sure seam­less con­nec­tiv­ity across the two coun­tries and re­gion at large. Roads are im­per­a­tive for de­vel­op­ment of na­tional econ­omy. Im­proved trans­port in­fra­struc­ture leads to eco­nomic growth as it links up mar­kets, en­hances trade and in­te­grates the sup­ply chains. Given this, de­vel­op­ment of roads net­work un­der CPEC will reap mu­tual div­i­dends Pak­istan will be able to uti­lize the road net­work for con­nect­ing to re­gional mar­kets that will boost our trade and thereby lead to en­hanced eco­nomic growth. The ap­proved projects in the 6th JCC will fur­ther aug­ment the in­ter­provin­cial con­nec­tivety. The NaukundiMashkel-Pan­j­gaur Road, CPEC link road from Chak­dara to Gil­git via Chi­tral and Mir­pur-Mazaf­farabadMansehra road link will con­nect less de­vel­oped parts of Balochis­tan, KP and AJK with main cor­ri­dor, bring­ing a new era of de­vel­op­ment in th­ese ar­eas. En­ergy sec­tor projects form a ma­jor chunk of CPEC projects. Cur­rently, 15 en­ergy projects are un­der im­ple­men­ta­tion and by 2019, 7000 MW of en­ergy will be avail­able to sup­port the in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ments and en­sure re­vival of the ex­ist­ing

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