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CPEC is Transforming The Least Developed Parts of Pakistan

In a New York Times Op Ed titled "How Not to Engage With Pakistan",  ex US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson says "Its (CPEC's) magnitude and its transformation of parts of Pakistan dwarf anything the United States has ever undertaken".  Olson goes on to warn the Trump Administration that "Without Pakistani cooperation, our (US) army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale".

Among the parts of Pakistan being transformed by China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are some of the least developed regions in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. Here is more on these regions:

Gwadar Port City:

Gwadar is booming. It's being called the next Shenzhen by some and the next Hong Kong by others as an emerging new port city in the region to rival Dubai. Land prices in Gwadar are skyrocketing, according to media reports. Gwadar Airport air traffic growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan where overall air traffic grew by 23% last year, according to Anna Aero publication.  A new international airport is now being built in Gwadar to handle soaring passenger and cargo traffic.

In addition to building a major seaport that will eventually handle 300-400 million tons of cargo in a year, China has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about $500 million in grants for an airport, hospital, college and badly-needed water supply infrastructure for Gwadar, according to Reuters.

The Chinese grants include $230 million for a new international airport in Gwadar, one of the largest such disbursements China has made abroad, according to researchers and Pakistani officials.

New development work in Gwadar is expected to create as many as 20,000 jobs for the local population.

Thar Desert:

Thar, one of the least developed regions of Pakistan, is seeing unprecedented development activity in energy and infrastructure projects.  New roads, airports and buildings are being built along with coal mines and power plants as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There are construction workers and machinery visible everywhere in the desert. Among the key beneficiaries of this boom are Thari Hindu women who are being employed by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as part of the plan to employ locals. Highlighted in recent news reports are two Hindu women in particular: Kiran Sadhwani, an engineer and Gulaban, a truck driver.

Kiran Sadhwani, a Thari Hindu Woman Engineer. Source: Express Tribune

Thar Population:

The region has a population of 1.6 million. Most of the residents are cattle herders. Majority of them are Hindus.  The area is home to 7 million cows, goats, sheep and camel. It provides more than half of the milk, meat and leather requirement of the province. Many residents live in poverty. They are vulnerable to recurring droughts.  About a quarter of them live where the coal mines are being developed, according to a report in The Wire.

Hindu Woman Truck Driver in Thar, Pakistan. Source: Reuters

Some of them are now being employed in development projects.  A recent report talked of an underground coal gasification pilot project near the town of Islamkot where "workers sourced from local communities rested their heads after long-hour shifts".

Hindu Woman Truck Driver in Thar, Pakistan. Source: Reuters 

In the first phase, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) is relocating 5 villages that are located in block II.  SECMC is paying villagers for their homes and agricultural land.

SECMC’s chief executive officer, Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh, says his company "will construct model towns with all basic facilities including schools, healthcare, drinking water and filter plants and also allocate land for livestock grazing,” according to thethirdpole.net He says that the company is paying villagers above market prices for their land – Rs. 185,000 ($ 1,900) per acre.

Summary:

Ex US Ambassador Richard Olson is absolutely right in his assessment that "(CPEC's) magnitude and its transformation of parts of Pakistan dwarf anything the United States has ever undertaken".  Olson goes on to warn the Trump Administration that "Without Pakistani cooperation, our (US) army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale". The "magnitude" of CPEC and its "transformation" that Olson refers to is clearly visible in some of the least developed regions of Pakistan in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.  Gwadar port city and Thar desert are humming with unprecedented development activity fueled by billions of dollars of funds allocated by China and Pakistan.  

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Comment by Riaz Haq on January 10, 2018 at 11:24am

Gilgit Baltistan, another least developed region in Pakistan, is benefiting from CPEC: 

Billions of rupees were being spent on expanding road network for boosting business and tourism activity in Gilgit-Baltistan areas.

This was stated by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman while talking to a news channel. The present government was working to expand tax and road networks to benefit the people of the area, he said.

A committee had been formed to bring the tax reforms, he said adding Anti-corruption laws was also being implemented in G-B areas.

About 15 to 20 lakh tourists had been visiting the Gilgit-Baltistan, due to peaceful environment restored by the efforts of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), government, he said.

To a question the CM G-B said that an amount of Rs 47,00,000 had been collected through withholding tax.

Appreciating the federal government initiatives, he said that besides Gilgit-Baltistan budget, the Center had also provided 19 billion rupees for special projects and development of the area. Two power projects of 100 mega watt and 80 mega watt capacity, costing 52 billion rupees would be completed through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said.

To another question Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman said that Gilgit-Skardu road was being completed with the cost of 35 billion rupees. More than 100 billion rupees was being invested to link and expand road networks, he added.

Completion of roads would reduce the distance besides save the precious time of the people travelling from Gilgit to Islamabad, he said. A regional grid station would also be built in near future, he added.


https://pakobserver.net/billions-rupees-spent-expand-road-network-g...

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 10, 2018 at 11:26am

CPEC to open development era for KP’s southern districts

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Federal Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani has said that the multi-billion project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would usher in new era of economic progress and prosperity in the southern district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Talking in a meeting with elders on the occasion of a wedding ceremony of a renowned social worker here, the minister said that southern district which had long been awaiting development-oriented measures were included into development projects under the CPEC in wake of efforts of the party’s chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman.

He said the mega project featured establishment of industrial zones at designated places all along the route besides other billions of dollars worth development schemes.

He said that industrial zones would bring economic prosperity to southern districts of KP and generate job opportunities for its people who had long been ignored by other political parties.

He said with construction of the route, people of the area would have access to modern facilities of life.

He said the CPEC would promote trade ties with neighbouring countries Central Asian States and South Asian countries, which would ultimately prepare the ground to make Pakistan a trade hub in this whole region.

He said CPEC project involved billions of dollars worth development schemes and would bring prosperity not only for the two countries but for the region as well, adding this mega project would create job opportunities and the country would move ahead on the path of progress and development.

Referring to the FATA merger issue, the federal minister said that future of FATA should be decided in line with wishes and aspirations of tribal people.

He said that Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman was struggling to achieve bright future for the people of tribal belt and had always stressed the need to keep in view interests and rights of the tribal people.

He said FATA people had rendered supreme sacrifices for the sake of the country so decisions may not be imposed against their will and aspirations.

He also said the revival of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) was a welcome sign and would supplement efforts for strengthening democracy in the country.

https://www.brecorder.com/2017/12/27/389322/cpec-to-open-developmen...

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 10, 2018 at 8:31pm

The Gilgit-Baltistan Working Development Party (GBWDP) approved on Wednesday several mega projects worth millions of rupees for uplift of different sectors to provide better services to people. The meeting reviewed scores of development schemes and approved key projects for departments of Home, Social Welfare, Education and Energy with special focus on improving socio-economic conditions of the masses besides providing quality services. To effectively tackle aftereffects of natural calamities, a mega project of Rs100 million is to be completed and two schemes costing Rs240 million for tourism, sports and culture departments have been approved. 

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1605446/2-g-b-approves-economic-uplift...

GILGIT, Pakistan: Gilgit Baltistan (GB) registered 25 percent increase in domestic and foreign tourists last year due to significant improvement in the security, law and order situation in the province.

The growth in foreign and domestic tourists that visited different areas of GB had increased by 25% as compared to last year owing to effective measures taken by the government to improve law and order situation in the province, official sources in GB Tourism Department told the state-run news agency on Friday.

The official said arrival of 1.75 million international and 38.8 million domestic tourists to Pakistan, successful holding of Peace Cup 2017 in Miranshah North Waziristan Agency, Asia Peace Festival, Pakistan Motorcar Rally from Khunjrab to Gwadar and PSL Final in Lahore, establishment of Counter Terrorism Force and rehabilitation of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) have clearly showed that peace and normalcy was fully returned to the Country besides enhanced its soft image of being tourists and sports loving Country.

The official said tourism was the most important sector where people can knew about each others’ culture, customs, traditions and civilizations besides earned valuable foreign exchange for the Country. He said Pakistan’s foreign missions and overseas Pakistanis can play a key role in promoting tourism in the Country especially in GB and assured full cooperation in this regard.

https://dnd.com.pk/gilgit-baltistan-registered-25-more-tourists-in-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 11, 2018 at 7:35pm

China Outbidding US For Pakistan’s Future – Analysis

https://www.eurasiareview.com/11012018-china-outbidding-us-for-paki...

Trump has accelerated the process of deteriorating relations at breakneck speeds, and China is well-poised to pick up the replace the U.S. as Pakistan’s global backer. It’s not just the tweet or fraying of diplomatic relations, but the lack of concerted effort to secure Pakistan as a partner as U.S. interests are drowned out by other powers.

As Trump works on “Making America Great Again,” China is literally building inroads to become West Asia’s hegemon.

During Trump’s short tenure, his administration has overseen the rapid retrenchment of U.S. power from West Asia and the Middle East: Trump has relinquished Iraq to Iran, stepped back on the Iranian nuclear deal, withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, retreated from a meaningful part in the Israeli/Palestinian peace process, and now is seemingly turning its back its alliance with Pakistan.

Both economically and militarily, China is successfully implementing a plan to outbid the U.S. for Pakistan’s future.

According to John Fei, an independent consultant who has previously served as a manager to John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Asia Security Initiative, China views Pakistan as a vital part of a larger initiative to establish a globally dominant economy.

“China’s interests in Pakistan dovetail closely with its Belt and Road Initiative. Through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China will be able to exert economic influence and gain a strategic foothold in the region.”

The Belt and Road Initiative is a massive project spanning nearly the entire world, and involves China forging accessible trade routes between China and countless other countries. Part of that initiative is CPEC, a $62 billion investment in Pakistan’s infrastructure to facilitate China’s economic agenda.

In other words, China is essentially reworking Pakistan’s entire infrastructure and economy so that it is routed to China. The project not only promises to fundamentally reshape the world economy around China, but it also spells danger for the U.S., which risks losing leverage over countries that could simply sign on to China’s economic world vision.

CPEC also looks to renovate Pakistan’s businesses, agriculture, defence and telecommunications, and societal structures. In the words of Firstposts’ Tara Kartha, “The currency was the last bastion of the Pakistani state that remained inviolate. It seems that this is now about to be breached.”

According to Fei, now that CPEC is well underway and Pakistan has adopted the Chinese yuan, it no longer needs the U.S. dollar to conduct international trade.

China has quickly become Pakistan’s most critical trade partner, importing far more from China ($17.2 billion) than the closest competitor, the U.S. ($2.1 billion). China has also rapidly rose through the ranks to become Pakistan’s second-largest export destination, just behind the U.S.

So while Trump attempts to revitalize the U.S. economy by ‘bringing jobs back,’ and advocating for a kind of anti-globalist isolationism, he has largely remained silent on the slow leaching of critical U.S. assets abroad which bolster the American economy.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 11, 2018 at 10:31pm

Dubai vs Gwadar: port cities chart a course for share of world’s economy

By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid and 3 collaborators

https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/11/pakistan/dubai-vs-gwad...

A strategic port at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in southern Pakistan is continuing to push its rival megaports in the United Arab Emirates, pitting the lesser-known Gwadar against Dubai in a bid to move goods faster and more cheaply to some of the most populated countries of the world. 

“Many economic analysts believe that Gwadar is another Dubai emerging on the world’s map,” said Tariq al-Shammari, a writer and self-described activist, who wrote about the expansion of the Pakistani port for OpenDemocracy, a UK-based political website. “Gwadar port will become the main sea gate for Central Asia.”

As it becomes easier to send goods through Gwadar, Dubai may see a threat to its regional influence, al-Shammari said.

“This challenging point, recently, has caused a silent economic war in the Gulf of Oman between two groups of countries; Pakistan, China and Qatar on one side, India and the UAE on the other,” he wrote.

How the ports stack up

Dubai’s two major commercial ports — Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali — provide significant revenue to the UAE. Jebel Ali has the biggest man-made harbor in the world and the biggest Middle East port, and more than 5,000 companies from 120 countries rely on its services for goods ranging from consumer items to heavy construction machinery.

Gwadar’s deep sea port is strategically located to provide easier access to the Gulf region and the Middle East for China, especially the northwest Xinjiang region, and central Asia countries. The overland distance from Gwadar to Kashgar, in China, is 1,500 miles, while it is another 2,500 miles to move across China to Shanghai. Cargo ships have to move double the distance, again, to reach the Middle East waters.

The Gwadar corridor will reduce the transport time for goods to Western China by about 60 or 70 per cent, according to Liu Ying, a research fellow at the Chongyang Institute who studied the economics of the port (The Telegraph).

China’s influence

The Gwadar port is a key project in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (South China Morning Post), which seeks to build strong economic connections between China and the countries along the old Silk Road – and well beyond.

Gwadar was built with financial and technical assistance from China, which took operational control after the Port of Singapore Authority pulled out of a 40-year port management and development contract because it was unable to get the land it sought to develop a free trade zone. The Gwadar port had been unable to become fully operational because of unsettled issues between Islamabad and the port authority.

The pivot to China “will also enable the dragon to swim in the Indian Ocean, which is strategically important for China as it expands its influence across the region, according to The National, a newspaper based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

“To ensure the security of shipments along existing routes, a Chinese naval presence at Gwadar could also patrol the Indian Ocean sea lanes. Of concern to Washington and New Delhi is the Chinese naval presence near the Strait of Hormuz and its strategy of building a ‘string of pearls’ presence on the Indian Ocean rim,” the newspaper reported.

The Gwadar Development Authority is working on developing residential and commercial areas at the port, spurring growth in real estate and services. As observers note, some of the projects mirror those in Dubai, of which it may always be more of “sister city,” than a true rival (The Express Tribune).

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 13, 2018 at 4:58pm

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > OPINION
‘Constructive cooperation’
By M Ziauddin Published: January 13, 2018

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1607164/6-constructive-cooperation/

Without disagreeing with the main argument by President Trump for suspending security assistance to Pakistan, The New York Times editorial on January 6th had come up with a sane suggestion that the president “…marshal other diplomatic tools, to see if more constructive cooperation with Pakistan is possible.” Stressing the point further, the editorial made an even saner and timely proposal that the president “harness his new friendship with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to shut down Haqqani and other Taliban fund-raising efforts in the Persian Gulf.”

The argument that the bulk of funding that the Haqqanis and other Taliban factions have been receiving all these years is coming from Saudi Arabia and the UAE has never been in doubt. The regional currency market operators have been processing these transactions like normal business for ages without batting an eye.

During Pakistan’s ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s the real rulers of the day had used these funds to finance their military operations as well as their efforts at governance. These flows have continued even after 9/11 but this time these funds have been going straight to the Afghan Taliban, including Haqqanis fleeing to safe sanctuaries in Pakistan in the aftermath of second Afghan war which is now in its 17th year.

-------------


So, if the US wants to see a quick end to the Haqqanis and other Taliban factions using Pakistani soil to launch their murderous operations inside Afghanistan, it will have to persuade Saudi Arabia and the UAE to effectively move against these fund raisers in their respective countries and forcibly turn off the clandestine tap that is sustaining the firepower of Haqqanis.

------------

And those in the US who believe Pakistan has effectively bribed the international community with the spectre that any instability could result in terrorists getting their hands on Pakistani nuclear technology, fissile materials, or a weapon are totally off the mark as well. It is not Pakistan but these misguided US political pundits who have cultivated a global fear that Pakistan is too dangerous to fail.

Indeed, even a complete stoppage of the US aid most of which has come in the form of grant or at concessional rates would not hurt the country’s economy seriously because the US has been siphoning back 99 cents from each of its aid dollar in the shape of consultancy fees, shipping charges and transfer pricing resorted to while importing goods and services from the US as per conditions hidden in the fine print of the aid agreements. So, the Chinese loans if not any more beneficial for Pakistan than the US grants, would not be any less beneficial as well.

Of course, Pakistan would be seriously hurt if the multilateral aid agencies under the influence of the US were to stop offering the country a helping hand in times of economic crises which we experience on a regular basis.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 22, 2018 at 8:48am

India Ranks Below China, Pakistan On This World Economic Forum Index
Norway remains the world's most inclusive advanced economy, while Lithuania again tops the list of emerging economies, the World Economic Forum said.

https://www.ndtv.com/business/india-ranks-much-below-china-pakistan...

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Forum_IncGrwth_2018.pdf

Davos: India was today ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, much below China's 26th position and Pakistan's 47th.

Norway remains the world's most inclusive advanced economy, while Lithuania again tops the list of emerging economies, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said while releasing the yearly index here before the start of its annual meeting, to be attended by several world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

The index takes into account the "living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness", the WEF said. It urged the leaders to urgently move to a new model of inclusive growth and development, saying reliance on GDP as a measure of economic achievement is fuelling short-termism and inequality.

India was ranked 60th among 79 developing economies last year, as against China's 15th and Pakistan's 52nd position.

The 2018 index, which measures progress of 103 economies on three individual pillars -- growth and development; inclusion; and inter-generational equity -- has been divided into two parts. The first part covers 29 advanced economies and the second 74 emerging economies.

The index has also classified the countries into five sub-categories in terms of the five-year trend of their overall Inclusive Development Growth score -- receding, slowly receding, stable, slowly advancing and advancing.

Despite its low overall score, India is among the ten emerging economies with 'advancing' trend. Only two advanced economies have shown 'advancing' trend.

Among advanced economies, Norway is followed by Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Denmark in the top five.

Small European economies dominate the top of the index, with Australia (9) the only non-European economy in the top 10. Of the G7 economies, Germany (12) ranks the highest. It is followed by Canada (17), France (18), the UK (21), the US (23), Japan (24) and Italy (27).



The top-five most inclusive emerging economies are Lithuania, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Poland.

Performance is mixed among BRICS economies, with the Russian Federation ranking 19th, followed by China (26), Brazil (37), India (62) and South Africa (69).

Of the three pillars that make up the index, India ranks 72nd for inclusion, 66th for growth and development and 44th for inter-generational equity.

The neighbouring countries ranked above India include Sri Lanka (40), Bangladesh (34) and Nepal (22). The countries ranked better than India also include Mali, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Ukraine, Serbia, Philippines, Indonesia, Iran, Macedonia, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia.

Although China ranks first among emerging economies in GDP per capita growth (6.8 per cent) and labour productivity growth (6.7 per cent) since 2012, its overall score is brought down by lacklustre performance on inclusion, the WEF said. It found that decades of prioritising economic growth over social equity has led to historically high levels of wealth and income inequality and caused governments to miss out on a virtuous circle in which growth is strengthened by being shared more widely and generated without unduly straining the environment or burdening future generations.



Comment by Riaz Haq on January 22, 2018 at 5:09pm

Mega #oil city to be constructed in #Gwadar as part of #CPEC. Plan includes oil terminal and storage tanks, oil #refinery and #petrochemical #industrial complex. #Pakistan #China

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271367-mega-oil-city-to-be-constru...

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to construct a mega oil city at Gwadar on 80,000 acres under much hyped China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This mega oil city will be used for transportation of imported oil through the Gwadar Port to China. The oil will be imported from Gulf and will be stored at this proposed mega Gwadar oil city.

The distance to China will be reduced, and it will take just seven days to cover the distance from Gwadar to Chinese border as import through western China took almost 40 days by covering double distance.

“We have forwarded PC-1 to the Ministry of Petroleum for acquiring 80,000 acres for this mega oil city at Gwadar with estimated cost of Rs10 billion. There will be additional cost for construction of its storage and other aligned facilities with the help of investments,” Director General, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), Dr Sajjad H Baloch, told Islamabad based journalists who visited the Gwadar Port last week. This visit was arranged by the Planning Commission in order to show case different ongoing projects under CPEC.

A refinery, petrochemical industries and storage will be established in the oil city, he added.

The Gwadar oil city, he said, would be used for storing oil for its onward transportation to China. Usually, it takes 40 days for vessels to transport oil to China but via Pakistan it will reach China within 7 days, he added. He said that the total area of Gwadar Model City is 290,000 acres which includes 160,000 acres of residential area while the remaining is for industrial purposes. A Chinese company is working on the Model City Plan and it will be ready by August 14, 2018.

To another query regarding different measures for overcoming water shortages at Gwadar, he said that the current water requirement stood at six million gallons per day and there is no direct water supply taking place to the area. Two MGD water is being supplied from two water small dams through tankers and nearest distance is almost 70 kilometres.

“We have a deficit of four million gallons per day in water supply to the area,” he said and added that by 2020, the water requirement of Gwadar would be 12 million gallons per day, for which additional arrangements were made to get 10 million gallons of water.

New Gwadar International Airport: Earlier, the journalists visited the site of proposed new airport at Gwadar. The China Airport Construction Group Engineering Company representative Jianxin Liao told the visiting journalists that they were conducting soil investigation on the basis of which, the design of new airport at Gwadar will be finalised. He said that the procured land for this new airport stood at 4,300 acres, and this airport will possess capacity to handle one million passengers on annual basis. He said that by April this year the design will be completed after which the cost of the project will be estimated. It will be the biggest airport of Pakistan.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) representative Zohaib Soomro said that the initial cost of the project was estimated at $228 million, but its cost would be finalised after completion of design, and it would be estimated again.

The sources said that it would be premature to give any assessment related to cost, but it would be more than $2 billion to $2.7 billion at least if we want to construct state of the art airport in accordance with international standards.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2018 at 7:34am

5 airlines to venture into Pakistan
Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-29 20:13:38|Editor: Lifang

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/29/c_136934060.htm

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Five national and international airlines have applied for regular public transport airline license of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to venture into the country's aviation industry, local reports said Monday.

The airlines are expected to get permission to carry out the flight operation in the country's skies during the next one year, which is likely to bring down passenger fares, local newspaper Express Tribune said.

Airlines including Askari Air, Air Siyal, Go Green, Liberty Air and Afeef Zara Airways have applied for the license to be a part of the aviation industry which is expected to be around 9 percent per annum and likely to keep the same pace till 2020, according to a forecast of the International Air Transport Association, a trade body of world's airlines.

Pakistan's air traffic has soared up to 40 percent over the past five years to 20 million passengers, and is continuously witnessing an upward trend due to improvement of law and order situation in the country, which is bringing in more tourists in the country.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has also resulted in the increase of air traffic in the country.

Most of the upcoming carriers will target low-profit, far-off destinations including Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Dalbandin, Zhob, in Balochistan province where CPEC projects are in full swing, and the tourist destinations of Rawalakot, Skardu, Chitral, Gilgit, Bannu and Parachinar.

The destinations could generate immediate profits because of their tourism potential and work on CPEC projects.

For these remote regions, the new carriers will bring airplanes suitable for small airports.

The entry of new airlines in the country's airspace is expected to further increase challenges of the country's national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines, which was the sole operator in most of these routes in the past.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2018 at 10:59am

Pakistan, China Jointly Showcase Arabian Sea Gwadar Port

https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-china-jointly-showcase-arabian-s...

Pakistan and China have jointly organized the first international exhibition to showcase the significance of the Arabian Sea Gwadar Port and its economic free zone as an emerging international business hub.

The warm water deep sea commercial port, which overlooks some of the world’s busiest oil and gas shipping lanes, has been built and recently expanded with Chinese financial assistance.

More than 200 companies from both China and Pakistan were present in Monday’s event at Gwadar, while six Chinese provinces also sent their representatives, said Beijing’s ambassador to Islamabad, Yao Jing, while addressing the ceremony.

Foreign diplomats and business leaders were also invited to the opening session of the two-day event.

Chinese operators of the port say the Gwadar Free Zone shall bring extensive economic benefits, like a tax holiday for 23 years and land lease up to 99 years to the upcoming businesses along with other incentives and pro-business policy frame work for general trade, services, manufacturing, logistics, trans-shipment and bunkering business.

Direct benefit for Pakistan

Gwardar port is to be a trans-shipment hub connected to landlocked western Chinese regions, giving Beijing a secure and shorter international trade route through Pakistan.

Gwadar is celebrated as the gateway to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, a flagship of President Xi Jinping’s global Belt and Road Initiative to build a new “Silk Road” of land and maritime trade routes across more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Under CPEC, networks of road, communications, rail, economic zones and power plants are being built and upgraded in Pakistan with an estimated Chinese investment of $62 billion.

Around $27 billion in projects are underway or completed, including “early harvest” energy projects, adding much-needed electricity to Pakistan’s national grid.

“I would like to say that the Chinese government will continue to invest and send our input to further support the development of this project. Also, we will encourage Chinese companies and Chinese businessmen to join the development of Gwadar,” vowed Chinese envoy Jing.

Wider benefit planned

During the ceremony, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said CPEC is the “most visible part” of China’s of BRI, saying the mega project will cater not only to the needs of his country, but to the needs of the region.

Officials expect Gwadar’s cargo handling capacity to increase to 1.2 million tonnes by the end of this year and it will be able to process about 13 million tons by 2022, making it the largest port in South Asia.

Chinese partners say they would need around 38,000 skilled workers by 2023 for the Free Zone, according to Dostain Jamaldini, Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority. He says of the 2,500 current workers, around 500 are Chinese nationals and the rest are locals.

An international airport with a 12,000 meter runway is being constructed in the once sleepy town with a Chinese financial grant of around $300 million.

The Arabian Sea port is located in Pakistan’s largest province of Baluchistan where militant groups, including Islamic State, and a low-level insurgency remain key security challenges to CPEC.

Additionally, the corridor runs through Pakistan-controlled portion of the divided Kashmir region, drawing objections from rival India. The United States suspects China may also turn Gwadar into a military base.

But Chinese officials reject those concerns, maintaining “CPEC is merely an economic cooperation project,” and Islamabad dismisses New Delhi’s opposition as politically motivated.

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on May 23, 2018 at 11:06am — 1 Comment

    History of Pakistan's Business and Industry

    Pakistan's $1.1 trillion GDP ranks the country as the world's 24th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).  Pakistan has come a long way since independence in 1947 when it was a poor agrarian country struggling to survive. Business and industry sectors now account for more than half of Pakistan's economy while agriculture's contribution is down to 20% of GDP.

    The story…

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on May 21, 2018 at 7:25am — 3 Comments

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