Lahore—China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is potentially a game changing for the economy of Pakistan and all-out efforts must be geared towards making it success, as we cannot afford to fall this mega project in the trap of spoilers. This is what All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Ibrahim Qureshi believes; insisting that saner elements must play their role in dismissing the fallacies, if any, about this huge developmental project, which is going to transform the fortunes of the peoples of Pakistan.
The government is playing an active role to inform the public through print and electronic media as well as websites regarding the benefit the project will accrue for the marginalized communities. “The uncalled for frenzy must avoided about every aspect of the CPEC and every measure should be taken to make the project non-controversial,” said Ibrahim Qureshi, adding that caution must be observed to ward off any attempt from any quarter to disrupt the CPEC project.
He said that CPEC is a pact between Pakistan and China for progressive co-operation in improving Pakistan’s infrastructure and providing employment opportunities. “Pakistan’s political leadership should display political intrepidity, diplomatic acumen and strategic thinking to make the project success,” he added. “CPEC project should benefit not any foreign multinationals but the people of Pakistan. The provincial and federal governments need to jointly work out a strategy to achieve this objective in consultation with the Chinese government,” Ibrahim Qureshi maintained.
CPEC is a collection of projects currently under construction at a cost of $46 billion, intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure as well as deepen and broaden economic links between Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China. The corridor is considered to be an extension of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, and the importance of CPEC to China is reflected by its inclusion as part of China’s 13th five-year development plan. It is predicted that the CPEC will result in creation of 700,000 direct jobs between 2015–2030, and add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country’s annual economic growth. Were all the planned projects to be implemented, the value of those projects would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970, and would be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan’s 2015 gross domestic product.