BEIJING: The unprecedented Saudi investment, half of which will support a refinery and petrochemicals complex in the port of Gwadar, is expected to shore up Pakistan’s economy and strengthen trade ties between the two countries.
Some observers are quick to compare the Saudi investment with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to an article published by Global Times on Wednesday.
The corridor included a network of highways, railways, and infrastructure and Gwadar is an important part of it.
Pakistan has been trying to get the assistance needed for development and diversify sources of investment from many countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Gwadar was not an exclusive platform.
The China-funded CPEC helps build the infrastructure at the port, and the improved condition would attract more investment which then, in turn, boosts the development of Gwadar and the whole of Pakistan.
Inclusiveness and multilateral cooperation are exactly the ideas that the BRI champions.
Admittedly, geostrategic competition is prevailing in the region. If added with the different interest demands of Afghanistan and Iran and the conflict between India and Pakistan, the region can be one of the most volatile places in the world.
Joint development is the only path that could lead the region into long-term peace and stability. This is also the broader objective of the BRI.
China hopes that all the investment coming into the region can be connected so as to be best utilized. Regional countries should enhance cooperation via coordination.
Meanwhile, all should hold an open attitude toward investment from outside the region.
As each regional power vies for a foothold and seeks its development, both competition, and cooperation feature in this process. All the countries face the question of how to turn strategic hedging into benign competition.
The BRI provides the answer.
U.S. China trade tensions likely to disrupt global economy: Kenyan official
NAIROBI: The U.S.-initiated trade war against China is likely to disrupt the global trading system and economic growth, a Kenyan official said here Monday.
“The trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies will affect Kenya negatively,” Raphael Tuju, Kenyan secretary general of the ruling Jubilee Party, told Xinhua in an interview.
The United States has imposed a 25 percent tariff on 250 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese imports in May and has threatened to impose additional tariffs on another 300 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports.
In addition, the United States has blacklisted a number of Chinese technology companies from doing business in the North American country.
Tuju said that China’s white paper titled “China’s Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations” is an important piece on public diplomacy, which will guide the trade talks between the two countries.
Kenya supports multilateralism because it is the future and the global community should promote it as much as possible, he added.
The former foreign affairs minister revealed that the world is truly interdependent, hence it needs to promote more trade and less barriers.
“I think there is some middle ground that ought to be investigated and negotiated to seek a permanent solution,” he said.
Pakistan, WB sign $918 mln loan agreements to support revenue mobilization, higher education
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and World Bank (WB) Tuesday signed three loan agreements worth US$ 918 million to help support revenue mobilization and higher education development in the country.
The agreements were signed by Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Noor Ahmed on behalf of federal government, WB Country Director and World Bank, Patchamuthu Illangovan while the representatives of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective Project Agreements.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, witnessed the signing ceremony.
Pakistan eyes trade opportunities at China expo
KUNMING (China): Pakistani business community is highlighting the country’s trade potential by showcasing its products at an ongoing week-long expo in Chinese Yunnan province for availing future opportunities under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Being held at Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center in capital city of Kunming, from June 12 to 18, the South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF) is attracting the trade and business community from across and beyond the region, wherein various government and private entities have displayed their products to enhance their customer base.
Around 200 stalls set up by Pakistani business community were attracting thousands of the visitors taking interest in Pakistani products including textiles, jewelry, leather products, cultural and traditional handicrafts.
The objective of the expo was to highlight Yunnan’s key role in the President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative under which Pakistan was also undertaking a flagship project of CPEC. Yunnan is the gateway to Southeast and South Asia.
The inaugural ceremony was attended among others by President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai, Deputy Mayor of Islamabad Syed Zeeshan Naqvi and renowned businessmen and media representatives.
The expo featured six major exhibition areas with 17 pavilions and around 74,000 booths set up by the business entities and international organizations from 74 countries.
The expo has attracted more than 3,300 entrepreneurs from home and abroad. Among the participating enterprises, nearly half were overseas.
Talking to APP’s Special Correspondent A J Zekria at the venue of the expo, Islamabad Deputy Mayor Zeeshan Naqvi said the expo would not only help highlight the trade and investment potential of Pakistan but also strengthen economic ties with the regional countries particularly China.
He said as Pakistan was fast executing CPEC, it was high time the country introduced its products in international markets to attract investment besides learning from success stories of other countries.
The seven-day event also marked the holding of the 2nd China-South Asia Cooperation Forum and China-South Asia Media Forum at Yuxi resort city, the 14th China-South Asia Business Forum and 7th China South Asia Southeast Asia Think Tank Forum.
President of FPCCI Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai while addressing the 14th China-South Asia Business Forum and the 2nd China South Asia Cooperation Forum organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Yunnan Council in Kunming, said Pakistan’s business community perceived China as a time-tested friend and a very important partner in its economic development.
The involvement of Chinese enterprises, both in terms of technical and financial assistance in several projects of Pakistan is reflective of the cordial relations based on mutual interest, unstinting confidence, and sincerity.
Engr Daroo Khan Achakzai while addressing the forum said Pakistan was a viable and most favorable nation for foreign investment and the foreign investors could enjoy the benefits of Pakistan’s business-friendly policies.
He said China-South Asia Business Forum provided an opportunity to South Asian countries to cooperate and collaborate for joint ventures and market their products as the event was being attended by around 4,000 companies from 74 countries.
He told the audience that industrial zones being established adjacent to CPEC route would provide an opportunity to all the participating countries to improve their competitiveness and export their products to Africa and Middle East Region at a lower cost.
Addressing the media forum at Yuxi, Consul General of Pakistan at Chengdu Muhammad Mudassir Tipu said in economic development, media could become a key partner of the state, government, civil society, and private sector.
Highlighting CPEC projects, he said the Chinese government had invested nearly $62 billion for infrastructure development of Pakistan.
He said through enhanced participation of senior Pakistani journalists in the forum, millions of people in Pakistan would know about the fast development of Yunnan and the opportunities being created there to deepen its relations with Pakistan, Southeast, and South Asia.
He said business and tourism prospects of Yunnan province possessed greater attraction for Pakistanis which needed to be highlighted through media.
Vice President of China Federation of Internet Societies and President of Xinhuanet Tian Shubin noted that South Asia and China were home to 40 percent of the world’s total population which required robust representation at the international media fora through close cooperation and innovations in the media sector.
Through use of social media and modern technology gadgets, modern-day challenges could be countered, he opined.
Speaking on ‘integrating innovation and creating new prospects of connectivity,’ Hassan Shahzad, a senior journalist from Pakistan, said the power of media laid in its capability to adapt to the system of governance in which it worked. China and Pakistan had different systems of governance but one of their commonalities was their vibrant media mechanism.
He said infrastructure connectivity was going to enhance innovation. The BRI could prove to be an inclusive club of nations by keeping their individual cultural and ideological uniqueness. Being open and trustworthy could remove barriers to innovations and sharing of ideas, he added.
Yasir Rehman, an anchorperson from Pakistan Television, while highlighting the significance of the media forum said instead of indulging into the differences, media should create a harmonious environment through highlighting the commonalities among the nations.
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