Pakistan needs to work on greater integration of locals, private sectors as well as the overseas Pakistanis into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Ambassador Syed Hassan Javed, Director of Chinese Study Centre, NUST.
While speaking at the webinar on the ‘Regional Integration and CPEC: The Case of Gwadar Port’ organized by the Institute of Regional Studies, Amb. Javed stressed that the need to adopt an innovative approach for the second phase of CPEC to untap huge multi-sectoral potentials between the two countries.
On Afghanistan’s inclusion into CPEC, Ambassador Javed said, “It would be a welcoming development since China will serve as the stabilizing factor in Afghanistan.”
Ambassador Javed shrugged off the impression that Chabahar and Gwadar, Dubai, and Dammam were the strategic rivals. He said that those ports were complimentary to CPEC, which he called the ‘sister ports of CPEC’.
While comparing the Chinese investments in Pakistan with the west, Amb. Javed said that “Chinese FDI stood very high in contrast to western and eastern countries’ investments altogether.”
In another comparison of port capacity, Amb. Javed said that Gwadar Port alone can handle up to 400 million tons cargo annually once it was completely operationalized, adding that ‘it was almost near India’s total capacity of all ports’.
While speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mir Sadaat Baloch, Asst. Professor at the University of Baluchistan, called for the inclusion of Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan into CEPC, adding that manufacturing, information, and communication technology also need to be incorporated in the second phase.
He also called to invest in enhancing labor skills which were crucial for the success of CPEC projects and equally important for social integration and public support.
Muhammad Samraiz Malik, former DG of ISSRA, NDU, said that CPEC was not just about building a network of roads. Actually, it was bringing regional connectivity, integration of civilizations, cultural exchanges, and sharing of resources.
In the end, Dr. Malik cautioned about the rising contentions, regional rivalries, and renewed interest of extra-regional powers with the growth of CPEC. While closing the session, Ms. Nabila Jaffer of IRS maintained that domestic economic activities were essentially required to be exploited for optimal utilization of infrastructure development, intra-regional industrial and agricultural development of Pakistan in the larger framework of CPEC.
Ms. Nabila Jaffer called for greater use of maritime industrial and economic potentials to modernize Pakistan’s maritime industry.
Source: China Economic Net