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CPEC contribution to cross $100 billion in the next 12 years

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News Analysis |

On 9th February 2018, the Executive Director to Center of Excellence (COE) for CPEC Dr. Shahid Rashid told journalists in a press briefing at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) that the total estimated cost of CPEC would cross $100 billion till its completion by 2030. He added that more development projects would be incorporated under CPEC.

Furthermore, he said that they were conducting extensive studies for making improvements in the trade balance with China and simultaneously prompted that merely CPEC alone could not provide solutions to all the economic problems faced by the country.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on January 28th 2018, “a project had been prepared to bring water from the Indus River to Islamabad to meet the growing water requirements of the capital. The work on this project will start this year. China has been requested to provide finances for the project under CPEC.”

In this backdrop, harmony between the provincial and federal governments is required and they should work enthusiastically for the inclusion of more projects under CPEC and to complete the ongoing projects.

Initially the cost of the project was $46 billion, which has been increased to $62 billion as this project has a long term plan which includes short term projects till 2020, medium term projects till 2025 and long term projects till 2030. There were 39 various ongoing projects under CPEC and the projects worth of $29 billion are at the advance stage of construction under the early harvest program.

Giving details on China Overseas Port Holding Company Limited (COPHL) investment Dr. Shahid Rashid said, “They had invested $200 million for bringing new cranes and established four different companies to run this port on efficient and commercial basis to make it [a] viable port that could attract traffic in months and years to become the hub of economic activities in this part of the world.”

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Dr. Rashid possesses a PhD degree in Supply Chain Management from a reputable international university. He was earlier affiliated with NESCOM and has 15 years of experience to enhance the research capacity of Centre of Excellence (COE) for CPEC which came into being on March 27th, 2017 with a formal inauguration.

This demonstrates the success of this meeting and the willingness of China to diversify its cooperation under the CPEC project. It can be hoped that the end result would be productive and the project will be able to proceed.

He said, “COE for CPEC has a total workforce that stands at 37 including 24 core researchers and 12 supporting staff, possessing 6 PhDs for different areas including 2 PhDs in Economics.”

The research under COE is evident and this institution has a plan to grant money to 107 researchers from the whole country of Pakistan. It aims at providing the latest research by giving a leading role ahead of the policy makers as well. Over time COE became an independent think tank by conducting relevant research in important areas of CPEC for establishing the right kind of synergy to maximize the benefits for Pakistan.

Read more: Long Term Plan (LTP) of CPEC is a mystery

The CPEC project is under the flagship project of One Belt One Road (OBOR), which includes 68 countries, most of which are the developing economies. It is the sixth corridor under the OBOR initiative. Pakistan has to stay cautious regarding the expansion of the cost of the CPEC project to avoid the burden of heavy debt. Along with the increased estimated cost, Pakistan may speculate the payback period of this cost as the project is operating on the Built, Operate and Transfer basis.

There were 39 various ongoing projects under CPEC and the projects worth of $29 billion are at the advance stage of construction under the early harvest program.

The year 2017 included a landmark achievement for Pakistan as Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal made the CPEC Long Term Plan public on 18th December, 2017. This would further add prospects for more inclusive research of this mega project. Simultaneously, there are bright prospects to jack up the developments in various sectors which include agriculture and information technology.

This demonstrates the success of this meeting and the willingness of China to diversify its cooperation under the CPEC project. In this backdrop, harmony between the provincial and federal governments is required and they should work enthusiastically for the inclusion of more projects under CPEC and to complete the ongoing projects. It can be hoped that the end result would be productive and the project will be able to proceed.


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