What's new

CPEC at a glance

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
55,053
55
84,346
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
CPEC is transforming Pakistan’s remote Gilgit-Baltistan

Syeda Sadia Shahid

August 19, 2020

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is transforming the remote Gilgit-Baltistan into a lucrative business hub of Pakistan.Gilgit-Baltistan was once known as the Northern Areas and was the part of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir region at the confluence of the world’s greatest mountain ranges the Karakoram, the Himalaya, the Hindukush, and the Pamir, and now people have started investing in this region. GB is highly rich with natural beauty, culture and its history is well known worldwide. This region has been the center of historical conflicts among Chinese, Russians, and the British.
Moreover, as many investors are trying to establish their business in this area, 46 years of man Hasan Nasar returned from Thailand and established a business of precious and semi-precious stones in Gilgit. Many investors, banks, food chains, and many other businesses are moving into the mountainous region since the region became the gateway for multi-billion-dollar CPEC. Big and small business persons are availing this opportunity well that CPEC has offered.

A big market is flourishing in GB that is about 600 kilometers (372 miles) from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. CPEC is proving to be a game-changer and is brightening many people’s fortune in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. CPEC worth $64 billion is a network of railways, pipelines, and roads. It aims to connect China northwestern Xinxiang province to the port of Gwadar in Balochistan province.

Nasar, owner of Gems Gallery located in the beautiful city market in Gilgit said, “I have moved here [Gilgit] from Bangkok in April this year and invested a hefty sum because this city is the future business hub after the CPEC becomes fully operational,”


However, the government is keen on developing the infrastructure to attract more tourists. It has been more than five years since the government is working to woo investors to invest here, said the former Chief Minister of GB Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman while speaking to Anadolu Agency.
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
55,053
55
84,346
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
China seeks additional guarantees for $6b new loan

China has sought additional guarantees before sanctioning $6 billion loan for Main Line-1 (ML-1) project due to weakening financial position of Pakistan and also proposed a mix of commercial and concessional loan against Islamabad’s desire to secure the cheapest lending.

The issue of additional guarantees was raised during the third joint ML-1 financing committee meeting, held ten days ago, official documents said.

However, a senior Pakistani official involved in negotiations said that China did raise the additional guarantees issue during meeting but it did not make it part of the draft of the minutes shared with Pakistan.

The ML-1 project includes dualisation and upgrading of the 1,872km railway track from Peshawar to Karachi and is a major milestone for the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The purpose of raising the additional guarantees issue was getting more clarity after Pakistan availed G-20 countries debt relief initiative, he added. The draft minutes have not yet been signed by both the countries.

The third round of financial negotiations gave further clarity on the Chinese position on $6 billion lending for the $6.8 billion strategically important ML-1 project of Pakistan Railways, sources in the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

The Chinese authorities asked for additional guarantee mechanism after Islamabad sought debt relief from G-20 countries, which was only meant for poorest nations of the world.
The G-2- nations have also imposed conditions that the poor countries would not secure expensive commercial loans, except those allowed under the IMF-WB framework.
The Chinese authorities have proposed that “keeping in view the financial situation in Pakistan so also the conditions laid down by the G-20 re
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
55,053
55
84,346
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Despite odds, China continues to invest in Pakistan

In 2020, two countries maintained pace of work, expand cooperation


Shakeel Ahmad Ramay
January 03, 2021




ISLAMABAD: Year 2020 proved to be yet another period of misunderstanding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Rumours ruled the market and facts could not find a place in discussions. The situation aggravated in the wake of a disinformation campaign to malign CPEC and China-Pakistan relations.

The year started with negative reporting in the international and local media, and the year closed with another wave of negativity. Debt trap, slow pace of CPEC projects and rolling back of Chinese investment were the major allegations levelled to run the smear campaign.

The debt trap is a slogan which has been chanted for a long time. The purpose is to counter Chinese investment flow to Pakistan. First, it was used in Sri Lanka through a deliberate campaign. The purpose was to create fear among countries where China was planning to inject capital.

No doubt, Sri Lanka is going through a debt crisis. However, the Chinese investment has nothing to do with the crisis.

Dushni Weerakoon of Sri Lanka’s Institute of Policy Studies and Sisira Jayasuriya, a professor of economics at Monash University, highlighted that China’s share in the national debt was only 10%. Furthermore, over 60% of this 10% loan is at the concessionary rate of 2%. It is only a myth that Sri Lanka has to cede Hambantota Port to China.

The same strategy has been adopted to malign CPEC without paying any heed to data or analysis on CPEC investment. Such disinformation starts with reports of debt crisis in Pakistan and its weak foreign currency reserves. It is used to stir fear among people.

Then such conspiracy theories jump directly to CPEC without highlighting the debt contribution from Paris Club ($10.924 billion), International Monetary Fund ($7.68 billion), bilateral donors ($24.352 billion), multilateral donors ($39.392 billion) and international bonds ($5.3 billion).

They manipulate data in such a way that puts all the blame on CPEC, though the contribution of CPEC-related investment is only 5.6%, which they intentionally ignore.

The same reports are highlighted and propagated through different media channels. Innocent minds of Pakistanis are trapped through these reports. Common people cannot understand the economic terminologies and the complicated debt data.

Even the ruling elite, decision-makers and businessmen cannot comprehend difficult statistics. Hence, they easily become victim of the smear campaign.

Second, the rolling back of Chinese investment is another false slogan which has been adopted in recent times. The disinformation campaign has accelerated following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The pandemic and its impact on the global economy and investment have provided a greater opportunity to manipulate data. Thus, it is necessary to understand the global dynamics before discussing CPEC.

The World Bank has projected that the global economy will shrink 5.2% in 2020. UNCTAD has forecast that the global foreign direct investment (FDI) will take a 40% hit, which will push the FDI down to less than $1 trillion from $1.5 trillion. Moreover, it can further contract by 5-10% in 2021.


Special focus

Despite all these odds and challenges, China is not sitting back. While first half of 2020 saw some turbulence, later China recovered and accelerated its investment.

Pakistan being the host to CPEC, the flagship project of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), got special focus. China started enhancing investment in CPEC and non-CPEC projects.

Among these, China and Pakistan launched two big hydroelectric power projects costing $1.93 billion. It is a clean investment which will help Pakistan in many ways like cheap electricity, enhanced water storage capacity and availability of water for agriculture during lean periods.

Discussions on the ML-1 railway project are at advanced stages. China has also provided support through a currency swap arrangement.

Third, the pace of progress on projects is another subject of interest for the opponents of CPEC. A major reason behind this argument is the lack of evidence to prove fake news about debt trap and rolling back of CPEC investment.

However, the evidence suggests otherwise. CPEC is going on at a good pace, rather the project has expanded over the past two years. The setting up of CPEC Authority gave a fresh impetus to the project with expansion in the areas of cooperation.

In 2020, when the entire world was under the grip of the deadly pandemic and economic activities came to a standstill, Pakistan and China joined hands to maintain the pace of work and expand cooperation.

The M-4 motorway project was completed during that period. CPEC helped Pakistan to keep 40,000 of its workers engaged. Gwadar Port started functioning as a transit trade facility. The groundbreaking of Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was performed and preparation for the groundbreaking of Rashakai SEZ has been finalised.

Pakistan and China also expanded cooperation under CPEC. First, social development was added to the basket and China committed more than $1 billion. The programme will focus on skills development, healthcare, education and job creation.

In 2020, two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed in the fields of agriculture and science and technology. Besides, China offered to donate a date processing plant for Balochistan. The plant will play an important role in creating livelihood opportunities for the local people and enhancing export earnings for Pakistan.

Hence, the campaign against CPEC is unjustified and does not have any sound footing. It is suggested that the government should take immediate steps to improve communication about CPEC benefits for poverty reduction, industrialisation and economic transformation.

The CPEC Authority is already working on it and it has improved the communication tremendously but there is a need to further accelerate the process.

Lastly, all players in the power structure should immediately stop making CPEC a subject of point scoring. It is hurting the project and interest of the country.

The writer is a political economist


Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2021.
 

Pak_Sher

SENIOR MEMBER
Dec 14, 2010
2,576
-1
1,734
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
China seeks additional guarantees for $6b new loan

China has sought additional guarantees before sanctioning $6 billion loan for Main Line-1 (ML-1) project due to weakening financial position of Pakistan and also proposed a mix of commercial and concessional loan against Islamabad’s desire to secure the cheapest lending.

The issue of additional guarantees was raised during the third joint ML-1 financing committee meeting, held ten days ago, official documents said.

However, a senior Pakistani official involved in negotiations said that China did raise the additional guarantees issue during meeting but it did not make it part of the draft of the minutes shared with Pakistan.

The ML-1 project includes dualisation and upgrading of the 1,872km railway track from Peshawar to Karachi and is a major milestone for the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The purpose of raising the additional guarantees issue was getting more clarity after Pakistan availed G-20 countries debt relief initiative, he added. The draft minutes have not yet been signed by both the countries.

The third round of financial negotiations gave further clarity on the Chinese position on $6 billion lending for the $6.8 billion strategically important ML-1 project of Pakistan Railways, sources in the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

The Chinese authorities asked for additional guarantee mechanism after Islamabad sought debt relief from G-20 countries, which was only meant for poorest nations of the world.
The G-2- nations have also imposed conditions that the poor countries would not secure expensive commercial loans, except those allowed under the IMF-WB framework.
The Chinese authorities have proposed that “keeping in view the financial situation in Pakistan so also the conditions laid down by the G-20 re
China already refuted this as not factual
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
55,053
55
84,346
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
$1 billion allocated under CPEC for education, vocational training and tourism development

By Gwadar Pro
Jan 5, 2021
Shafqat Ali

Islamabad, January 6: $1 billion has been allocated under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for education, vocational training and tourism development, Pakistan National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said Tuesday evening.

He said in order to fully materialise the financial allocation, necessary planning must be done for its full utilisation.

In a meeting with Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Amjad Ali Zaidi who called on him here, Asad Qaiser said that the projects under CPEC will usher in a new era of development and prosperity in the region.

He said GB had immense natural potential which could be used to significantly increase the development of the region.

“Issues of mutual interest and overall political situation of the country, especially Gilgit Baltistan came under discussion,” said an official statement.

Speaker Asad Qaiser congratulated Amjad Hussain Zaidi on assuming the office of Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.

He said the public and stakeholders’ engagement was imperative for achieving the desired results of CPEC.

In this regard, he said, a series of consultation with stakeholders, intelligence, government officials and business community and a sitting would also be arranged in GB tentatively in March, this year.

Gilgit-Baltistan Speaker thanked Asad Qaiser for his sentiments for the development of Gilgit-Baltistan. He said undoubtedly the CPEC project was the guarantor of development and prosperity of Pakistan, especially Gilgit Baltistan.

He said that people of GB had reposed confidence in the PTI in the recent elections and the government will try to come up with their expectations.

Amjad Zaidi said that as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, steps were being taken on a priority basis for the development of GB.

He said that Gilgit-Baltistan has been blessed with immense tourism potential and provision of infrastructure in the tourism sector can further improve the living standards of the people of the area.

He said with the timely completion of ongoing projects under CPEC projects, the goals of economic development in Gilgit-Baltistan can be achieved.
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
55,053
55
84,346
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Executive Committee of National Economic Council approved Rs 37.9 billion worth Pak China Optical Fibre Cable Phase II under CPEC. The project will provide an alternate path for international connectivity and transform Pakistan as a Digital Gateway of regional connectivity.
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
55,053
55
84,346
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E Nong Rong holds meetings with Rear Admiral Jawad Ahmed, Commander Pakistan Navy Western Command and General Officer Commanding #
Gwadar Maj Gen Aamer Najam .
He appreciated efforts by Pak Armed Forces in safeguarding smooth progress of CPEC.


1611856671227.png




1611856874214.png
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom