Pakistan and China have to co-ordinate on mutually beneficial development agenda. It was stated by Shah Faisal Afridi, President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry In a press statement issued on Friday. Afridi pointed that we need to be clear in what we need and what China can give, Co-ordination of development strategy and plan is necessary. Afridi added that unless we are on one page, nothing can happen.
He said that Pakistan has the geostrategic importance in interconnectedness of countries. He mentioned that it is through Pakistan that the economic development will radiate to other countries in South and Central Asia therefore earlier completion of CPEC projects will speed up the construction of other part of Silk Road; that’s why China attaches great importance to CPEC, told Afridi.
Afridi said that with Chinese collaboration, we are now having appropriate expertise, infrastructure facilities, technology and experience. He said that with all this available, we have reached that point where we have to improve the quality of development instead of quantity. He asserted that we should maintain a certain speed of high rate of development; our more attention should be paid to the quality of development for the sustainability of ongoing development programs.
Afridi informed that CPEC is the first project started under the umbrella of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy. He said; it’s true that we do not have any experience in developing such a project and we are still exploring our options. Afridi regarded CPEC as a beautiful painting written on the territory of Pakistan. Through the construction of CPEC, we will be able to process and accumulate our experiences, and learn lessons from it as well, he added.
Faisal Afridi termed CPEC as a lifetime opportunity for Pakistan to improve the socio-economic equation of its underprivileged areas and populace, Faisal Afridi said at the same time, the CPEC had also raised many eyebrows by those competing for influence in the region.
He explicated that, to ensure that Pakistan does not suffer, the government must not only develop contingency plans it must also be more transparent about the deal itself. To guarantee CPEC translucent macroeconomic stability, economic policymakers, both at the State Bank and outside, should be provided details about the expected inflows and outflows of foreign currency, and the debt and equity components of the deal, added Afridi.
Afridi observed that “If Pakistan does not provide stability for CPEC, Chinese will not hesitate it to find another route, practically leaving Pakistan out of this mega economic and trade route.” All in all, CPEC will face many hurdles, both domestically and from regional powers that may see it as a threat, He said. However, with a multi-billion dollar Chinese stake in the project, and Pakistan looking at it as a lifeline for survival, optimism remains high in both countries.