TWO latest reports speak volumes about the ever-expanding relationship between Pakistan and China and the commitment of the two countries to take it to new heights despite conspiracies being hatched by some powers that keep on spreading false propaganda on different aspects of this mutually beneficial cooperation.
A report of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in May jumped by 63 per cent to $198.3 million compared to $121.4m in the same month last year and that with $728 million China remained the biggest investor in Pakistan.
And in a tweet, Chairman CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa said that a pilot Chilli farm project under the Pakistan-China Condiments Industry Alliance (PCCIA) successfully completed 100 acres of plantation.
There are clear indications that the Chinese assistance and investment is helping Pakistan accelerate the pace of socio-economic progress and modernize various sectors of the economy.
China is making a huge investment of $62 billion to finance numerous projects in the realm of energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture, and industrial zones and Chinese investors are making a beeline to invest in these zones and especially in Gwadar, which is a hub of CPEC-related activities.
The transport network consisting of world class roads, pipelines and railway lines would connect Kashgar to Gwadar and in the process transforming the lot of the hitherto neglected and backward regions of Pakistan.
It is acknowledged even by critics that the CPEC offers a rare opportunity to address some of the country’s longstanding bottlenecks to sustained economic growth, not least its chronic energy deficit, poor transportation infrastructure and connectivity, and weak industrial development.
It is worth mentioning that in the education sector, China is extending cooperation in university scholarships and vocational training programmes that would contribute a lot in promoting research and development and equipping Pakistani manpower with modern skills.
Similarly, modernization of the agriculture sector with the Chinese assistance would help exploit its full potential with prospects of resolving economic woes of the country.
The successful completion of the Chilli project and plan to expand the project to three thousand acres of land shows the cooperation in agriculture would lead to increase in productivity and economic prosperity for farmers.
Chinese firms are also investing in large hydro-power projects that would not only help conserve water but also generate electricity at economical rates.
We hope that the Government of Pakistan would prioritize cooperation with China in the field of fisheries as the country can meaningfully increase its exports by modernizing this sector.
Besides cooperation in fisheries, expediting progress on ML-I and establishment of industrial and IT parks should form the agenda item during the next visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China.