ISLAMABAD, JUN 10 (DNA) – The mega projects like China’s BRI and CPEC will prove to be growth-pullers in the time of global recession in the days to come (following the outbreak of Covid-19), said Gwadar Pro quoting the recently published reports and research studies of World Bank (WB) and IMF.
Although at present, this appears to be a remote possibility to some economists worried about the post-Corona negative growth, a WB’s April 2020 report forecasts good days ahead for Pakistan whose,
“GDP is likely to increase up to 6.43 percent till 2030, courtesy the steady pace of CPEC“.
According to the research studies certainly, there is no reason to disbelieve this 2030 projection. Given the fact that despite slowing down of economic activity in many parts of the world, CPEC is entering its second phase that will also focus, among others, on more areas of cooperation like tourism, food security, science and technology, and agriculture with the enhanced partnership between China’s and Pakistan’s private sectors.
These authentic reports, released by WB and IMF, belie misdirected propaganda and baseless rumors that continue surfacing, periodically, at the behest of anti-CPEC elements whose jealousy and callousness about ever-growing Pak-China economic cooperation stands fully exposed.
The main factor underlying this increased cooperation despite Corona-related crisis is the iron resolve of both the “Iron Brothers”, China and Pakistan, to remain steadfast on the path of shared prosperity.
According to Yao Jing, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, “Completion of phase-1 of CPEC has laid a strong foundation for the 2nd phase which will focus on the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and strengthening of the trade and cultural ties through joint ventures and exchanges of delegations.”
While reminding that China has granted duty-free access to Pakistan for export of 313 goods under the 2nd phase of China-Pak Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the ambassador opined that Pakistan could act as a bridge between the East and the West. Many economists agree that this FTA will help increase Pakistan’s exports by optimally utilizing its potential in agriculture, textiles, food, minerals, engineering, and other sectors.
Of late, another landmark project under the umbrella of Pak-China economic cooperation is going to see its formal ground-breaking within days from now.
It is the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (Rashakai SEZ). Its ceremony is likely to be held within the next few weeks in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
According to the provincial Chief Minister, Mahmood Khan, this project will create thousands of employment opportunities for the people of this province in particular and for the people of Pakistan, in general.
For this purpose, Chief Minister Khan has directed the authorities to speed up working on the construction of approach roads of this SEZ.
The authorities concerned in Pakistan have also been instructed to complete all the prerequisites and make all necessary arrangements in this direction since. According to Chief Minister Khan, the Rashakai SEZ project is a flagship project of CPEC that the present government considers it a big source of development, prosperity, and economic growth for Pakistan, even for the whole region. This is, for sure, the sole objective of CPEC and BRI which aim at intercontinental linkages and prosperity for all.
In this connection, the 6th meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Special Economic Zones Authority (KP-SEZA) has been held in Peshawar. The provincial Chief Minister has urged other stakeholders to complete their share of work for the establishment of this Zone, well in time.
The fast-track development work on CPEC projects in this province is not only confined to Rashakai SEZ. Other Zones and projects are also being taken up on top priority basis. In this regard, the provincial government has ordered the authorities concerned to ensure the completion of all the processes on the establishment of Hattar, Buner, D.I.Khan and other proposed economic zones as per the given timelines.
Since Rashakai ground-breaking is about to be held, the revised development agreement of Rashakai SEZ has been submitted to Pakistan’s Federal Board of Investment for giving it a final shape before the signing of the agreement that is expected to take place in and around the mid of June 2020.