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Newspost

May 20, 2017

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A road to opportunity?

A road to opportunity?

After reading a news report on CPEC’s master plan, China’s plan seemed to be somewhat like this: China wants to create logistic support after which it will enter every sector of Pakistan’s economy through companies or individuals, which, in theory, will create jobs and opportunities for Pakistanis. However, the perks being given to Chinese investors might hurt the local business community. If the country wants to do this the right way, it must give ample opportunities to local businesses to expand so that they can actually compete with Chinese investors. Otherwise the country’s economy and all of its sectors like agriculture, textile, manufacturing, etc will be controlled by the Chinese, which is alarming to the extent that the country might lose its control on the economy. China wants to set up industries in Pakistan because the country has cheap raw materials. China is establishing industries so that they can add value to raw materials and export the finished products to Europe or the Middle East. The profits will then be repatriated to China. The main problem is that will Pakistan’s economy be strong enough to handle the pressure.

CPEC is good news for the economy, but the country needs to introduce economic reforms. The first step should be to curb corruption. Second, experts should analyse the pros and cons of CPEC. Once the cons are identified, they must be addressed on an immediate basis. No external force can make Pakistan’s economy better. The drive to improve the country’s economic condition must come from within. The need of the hour is to give opportunities and protection to the local business community so that they can compete with Chinese investors.

Areeb Ahmed Shariff

Karachi

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