Published Date: Feb 2, 2016
CPEC is game changer with enormous socio-economic benefits: Speakers
ISLAMABAD: “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a game changer with enormous socio-economic benefit, only if we can manage to implement the mega project effectively.”
This was stated by Dr. Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director SDPI while speaking at a seminar on ‘Contribution of CPEC to Economic Prosperity’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute on Monday.
He said it is not an indigenous project of Pakistan but part of China’s 13th 5-year plan, the government gets over ambitious by declaring it solely as its indigenous project. And opposition parties get over ambitious by asking for the details of the project, which are not finalized yet. Several months are required to know details of the project.
Talking about the negotiating of energy prices he said, it would be a blind move if ‘repayment is based on pre-defined tariff for energy project.’ NAPRA has crucial role in this regard. As energy prices are changing frequently it would be very early to negotiate for energy prices. Pakistan should evaluate the correct bargaining price of the route.
Shakeel Ahmed Ramay, Senior Research Associate at SDPI unfurled his recent study on project’s contribution to Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product. He explained that CPEC has not started recently. Its foundation was laid when a joint declaration was signed betweenIslamabad and Beijing in 2003.
The declaration highlighted the area of cooperation for future. A joint statement in 2006 further strengthened the cooperation, when Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed during the visit of President Hu Jintao to Islamabad in 2006. It gradually expanded the trade volume between Pakistan and China from $1 billion in 1998 to $15.15 billion in 2015. This enhanced cooperation then laid the foundation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He said this megaproject has huge importance for China, who now wants to go global after its economic development. CPEC would cut the 12,000 km oil supply route between Chinaand the Middle East, and Africa, and would act as basic trade link among these regions. It is driver of connectivity between South Asia and South East Asia.
Talking about CPEC, Dr. Safdar Sohail, Executive Director, CPEC, Centre of Excellence, in his deliberation said, the complex phenomena should not have very simple interpretation or single factor explanation. Regional trade is less than 5%, standing at US$ 28 billion, at present. All regional countries have expanded their trade with China by 10% except Pakistan.
Pakistan has remained investment deficient country. Pakistan had most of its investment in early 2000s in telecom and mining sector. In such a situation, Pakistan can only welcome Chinese FDI. The need of the time is to avoid battle of narrative and to make the project functional. This US$ 46 billion investment in Pakistan is first dose of investment. If the project is materialized, further investment is to follow.
Though there is genuine interest in Pakistan in terms of investment, yet Pakistan needs to find ways and means of supporting the project. We need to explore depth of our capital market, and its potential as investment multiplier. Our firms need to reorient towards China. There is need to pull the discussion back on CPEC, from streets to scientific people.Source: http://dailythepatriot.com/cpec-is-game-changer-with-enormous-socio-economic-benefits-speakers/