CPEC: A Successful Model of Trans-regional Development | By Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

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CPEC: A Successful Model of Trans-regional Development


DESPITE Western propaganda, right from the beginning, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been “striving” hard to convince regional as well as international power brokers about its immense socio-economic utility, scope and prospects.

It has the power to “revolutionize” local as well as regional economies. Its composition has the power to convert “poverty” into “prosperity”.

It has the ability to brighten the “productive channels” as well as future from the “deep darkness” by generating more and more energy supplies.

In this regard Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has already termed the CPEC, the “economic future” of Pakistan which shows its immense ability to transform economies through capacity building measures, nurturing of human capital, generation of new jobs, eradication of poverty, massive eco-friendly industrialization and last but not the least, abundant supplies of energies. Thus it is a game and fate changer project.

It has been positive, productive and participatory to nurture the spirits of development and dialogue.

Now it seems that at last “Mexican waves” of Western dissemination of disinformation has been converted into trans-regional convergence and the CPEC is ready to cross the various “seas” & shores” to land in the heart of Europe, “Hungary”.

Interestingly, Hungary is the “first” European country to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China on jointly promoting the construction of the “Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB)” and the 21st Century “Maritime Silk Road (MSR)” which has now brightened its scope to become part of the CPEC.

The Hungarian government has always actively supported and participated in the BRI to synergize the country’s “Eastern Opening” policy with the BRI, and attached great importance to the “17+1” cooperation mechanism, which has played a leading role in enhancing China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) cooperation.

Thus CPEC provides “ample” opportunities to Hungarian public and private sectors to invest in numerous projects of it for a “win-win proposition”.

In this regard, the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the flagship project of the CPEC offer a remarkable opportunity for profitably setting-up and conducting their business to the Hungarian businessmen for extending their business in Pakistan.

For further strengthening of bilateral relations the Embassy of Pakistan in Budapest, in collaboration with the All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF), developed an initiative to launch a ‘Hungary-Pakistan Trade and Economic Window (HPTEW)’ on 25 March 2021.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto jointly inaugurated the HPTEW and the first Hungary-Pakistan business forum in the month of March 2021.

On his part, Qureshi, in his welcome remarks, invited Hungarian companies to take advantage of the investor-friendly climate in Pakistan to enter into joint ventures with Pakistani companies, especially in the SEZs under the CPEC.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister agreed with Foreign Minister Qureshi that boosting linkages in all areas, particularly the economy, trade and enhanced people-to-people exchanges, would lead to fully realizing the economic potential between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Szijjarto said that Hungary’s policy of opening towards the East would provide a good impetus to Pakistan-Hungary relations in which CPEC would play an important role.

The HPTEW is indeed an innovative concept of commercial diplomacy for the further strengthening of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Hungary and also sincere effort on part of Pakistan to make the CPEC an international brand of progress and prosperity.

On its part, Chinese government does not have any reservation on the inclusion of any third party/country in the ongoing mega projects of the CPEC in the country.

The HPTEW consists of 12 points aiming at introducing potential business companies, entities and individuals of both the countries through a structured format.

It aims to serve as a 24/7 online platform that will be fully supported by the two governments through respective embassies.

It also aims to unlock and bring the true potential of the highly lucrative markets in Pakistan and Hungary in which CPEC would be “point of convergence” in the days to come.

The HPTEW is a futuristic initiative which is expected to unfold and evolve further in coming months and years, as it is likely to become a reliable standard tool for the private sector entities interested in doing business in Pakistan, Hungary or both.

It offers an entirely new model and way of doing business in an efficient, transparent and cost-effective manner.

Thus “innovative partnership” of the CPEC would be “launching pad” for Pak-Hungarian economic partnership in the days to come.

Hungary offers immense opportunity for Pakistani businessmen and investors because of its strong and innovative economy, high GDP, its strategic location at the heart of Central and Eastern Europe, its comparative advantage in modern technologies and expertise in the agricultural, food industry and last but not the least, environmental industry particularly in the field of water resource management, urban development and engineering technologies and industry, and achievements in science and technology, sports, culture would widen scope of bilateral relations and speed-up volumes of trade and brighten the chances of FDIs in the ongoing projects of the CPEC especially in the energy generation field.

Its participation in the CPEC phase-II would be a “valuation addition”.

Hungarian MOL is one of the largest foreign investors in Pakistan, supplying a significant portion of the country’s energy needs through the extraction of oil and natural gas.

Eximbank has opened a USD 83 million credit line to finance cooperation between Hungarian and Pakistani companies.

Advanced negotiations are now underway in medical device manufacturing, the food industry and cyber-security.

Hungarian Commercial Counsellor in Pakistan, Istavan Grafi, termed Pakistan as one of the important trade partners of Hungary with the ability to further strengthen mutual trade and economic ties.

The Centre of Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) has been striving hard to brand the CPEC as “greater” regional & tarns-regional “connectivity” platform and is now launching an innovative idea of “Knowledge Corridor” by starting international online internship program about Hungary, highlighting the strength of its economy, industry, infrastructure development, digitalization, AI and willingness to join the CPEC.

Even the Daily Pakistan Observer has been contributing a great job as a “brand media ambassador” of the CPEC in Pakistan through its intensified mass media campaigns successfully mitigating onslaught of Western propaganda.

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