An autumn for economic forethoughts | By Dr Hassan Daud Butt


An autumn for economic forethoughts

THE global leaders are gathering in Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit.

As the summit is approaching the expectations are incrementing because not that President Xi will be attending his first significant conference outside China after COVID-19 started and also this year Iran is likely to sign a memorandum as full member.

Over the years SCO has grown in structure which offers its members different sets of outcomes with Connectivity and integration as leading the regional level discussions.

During these challenging times, the conventional wisdom continues to adjust to national priorities.

The SCO with its eight full members and ten other dialogue partners can help converge for win-win solutions to the challenges that the region faces and to extract and exchange mutual capabilities and efficacies.

This will help the nations to discuss the political and economic challenges compounded by Climate Change.

In Pakistan, the horrific impact of terrestrial floods, the Russian-Ukrainian crises, the Azerbaijan –Armenia conflict and brewing food security are all matters that will be discussed.

Under its slogan of a shared future for mankind and the collective common good, the future plan of the Belt and Road initiative will also be discussed with China offering a reformed global development initiative agenda as the world continues to combat the potential economic, security and public health challenges.

The region is expecting China to invest in regional countries, especially in high-tech industries, and support E-commerce trade with higher standing in value chains as only in 2021, China’s cross-border e-commerce import and export volume reached 1.98 trillion Yuan, an increase of 15%.On its part, China wants to play a bigger political and economic role to ensure the security of its investments.

What the region seeks is a cooperation-based competition that can usher in an era of world social order maintained by consensus to thwart the menace of Climate Change, poverty, health and terrorism.

Another event of great significance that this autumn will witness will be the 20th CPC National Congress scheduled to be convened on October 16, 2022.

The Congress meeting is being held at a crucial moment when the world is still addressing the challenges of conflicts, the Pandemic while the notions of Globalization and regionalization are coming under test.

The Congress meeting is also aimed at looking back at the achievements of the past decade and, as the entire Chinese nation embarks on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects, and advancing toward the Second Centenary Goal.

The Congress will also review the international and domestic situations as well as the new expectations of the people.

Against this backdrop, one achievement that China can proudly look at is the Belt and Road initiative which has contributed to a connected and prosperous region via energy, infrastructure investments, etc.

As China’s strength for long-term investment in the region grows, it is expected that China will explore new investment models and establish a favourable environment for peaceful development.

Keeping in view the challenges faced by today’s world, China’s Belt and Road Initiative aspires for win-win cooperation, mutual development and shared prosperity with a vision to promote infrastructural development and socioeconomic uplift of the region.

China’s strengths will help to develop BRI partner countries to eradicate extreme poverty, accelerate technology and high-quality growth.

China’s next transformation is well underway, and Congress will formulate action plans and major policies and review the development trends of China.

it is hoped that the Chinese policies of Investment will support the high-tech growth of countries like Pakistan.

There is this expectation that actions will speak louder than words. On our part, we need to remain focused on creating an enabling environment by reducing risks and promoting complementary policies to strengthen business cooperation within the region, especially with China, Turkey, and the Central Asian countries, and improve business-to-business (B2B) links with their trading bodies.

The central expectation is that we must develop consensus on major regional and Global challenges and opportunities and achieve collaboration and harmony in policy implementation and execution so that economic reforms are achieved in the shortest possible time.

Pakistan on its part has a major role to play. While the deliverables of these two meetings and their subsequent actions will be known soon, it is hoped that the outcomes will favour broad-based collaboration with educational, scientific, political, business and cultural domains.

I believe the stage is set for all stakeholders to accrue the benefits however, deeper policy reforms will be required for the current realities to catch up with the ambitions of regional cooperation and ensuing economic growth.

Also, as China opens its doors for sharing high-tech technology, our economic plans must be devoted towards embracing the same technology and also towards a strategy of using local resources increasing productivity and providing a stable environment for projects to address development bottlenecks and promote economic rejuvenation.

Strong legislation for Ease of Doing Business, developing tech parks through Chinese investment support and careful development of CPEC SEZs to attract Chinese investments are vital few steps that require our immediate attention.

—The writer is a Projects Management specialist and is a faculty member of the Projects Management Depts at various institutes/universities and has also served as a diplomat in China and Vietnam. He is the Honorary Director at Global Governance Institue, China.


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