January 11, 2017Print : Lahore
Completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will create economic coordination, boost the international trade opportunities and bring the domestic commerce out of different challenges; so there is a need to adopt a comprehensive strategy to manage the debt burden due to CPEC.
These views were expressed by the experts in a Jang Economic Session on “usefulness of CPEC in economic growth”. The panellists were Dr Salman Shah, Imtiaz Cheema, Ansar Javeed, Khalid Rafique and Mian Fazal Ahmed while hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.
Dr Salman Shah said that CPEC would connect the economy as the communication infrastructure would improve and create harmony among the domestic commerce and trade. He believed that CPEC would pave the way for Chinese trade which would definitely benefit Pakistan. He suggested establishing independent authority for the implementation of the CPEC which would promote bilateral investment, technology, market shares and infrastructure development projects, besides creating awareness of it in western countries. He called for Mexico-America type trade agreement between Pakistan and China and Pakistan push China to give market access to Pakistani products in its markets.
Imtiaz Cheema said transparency in the implementation of the CPEC project was crucial. He said China was investing to look after its interests but Pakistan had also great opportunity in it, so it should not be controversial from the beginning.
He called for controlling mismanagement, corruption and other internal issues to maximise the benefits from the CPEC. He suggested learning from Chinese pace of establishment of power plants.
Ansar Javeed said that out of $40 billion loans, majority were business loans which was worrisome. He called for bringing out domestic commerce from crisis to create economic balance and reduce dependency on foreign debt. He said balanced and justice-based taxation system was the need of economy but unfortunately it was completely ignored; besides, reduction in exports was alarming. He called for increasing revenue generation besides exports.
Khalid Rafique said that CPEC was under discussion between Pakistan and China for the last 50 years and it was a big change for economy. He believed that investment in the CPEC would increase to $200 billion in coming years. Special industrial zones will be established in the CPEC project and every province will get its due share from it, he said, adding the government had taken keen interest in it and infrastructure development of Balochistan had also been focused. He suggested 30 percent minimum local investment share in each Chinese project to safeguard the local investors and create opportunities for them as well.
Mian Fazal Ahmed said the government should introduce revolutionary reforms to get benefits from the CPEC. He said the local human resource, labour and construction material should be used in CPEC projects so that unemployment could be reduced.