British high commissioner calls CPEC ‘game changer’

Published: December 15, 2015
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Britain’s services sector is very enthusiastic about participating in CPEC projects. PHOTO: FILE

Britain’s services sector is very enthusiastic about participating in CPEC projects. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: British High Commissioner Philip Burton has put his country’s weight behind the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that the $46-billion mega project marks a new dawn for the South Asian country.

Burton, speaking during his visit to the under-construction Nishat Emporium in Lahore, said the international community was once again looking at Pakistan with confidence.

US keen to invest in economic corridor projects

“I am looking at a reverse of brain drain in Pakistan,” said Burton. “The CPEC would prove to be the game changer. A new Pakistan is emerging due to the state of the art development projects.”

He said the country’s security situation has improved significantly, which helps in stabilising the country’s economy.

However, he reminded Pakistani manufacturers to adhere to international conventions on human rights and labour standards for continued access to EU markets under the GSP Plus status.

“We would like Pakistani companies to have the best opportunities in EU markets. More British brands are coming to Pakistan, giving a boost to the domestic retail sector.”

CPEC to benefit all provinces: PM

Meanwhile, Nishat Group Chairman Mian Muhammad Mansha appreciated the keen interest and support of the British government. He said Britain’s services sector was very enthusiastic in participating in CPEC projects.

Mansha, while expressing his optimism over the CPEC, said he visited Urumqi in China and saw it buzzing with activity.

“My host in Urumqi is developing housing and hotels as he anticipates more activity with the CPEC. I asked an official of the communist party as to why they are supporting Pakistan all the way in this project.

“The official pointed out that China is land locked from three sides and Gwadar could prove to be hugely beneficial not just for China, but all central Asian states.

Pakistan, China sign 20 MoUs worth $2 billion

“This is the time for Pakistan to open up and take advantage of the corridor.”

Mansha called on the government to promote private sector projects through the auction of unutilised land, which he said would invite interest.

“We need state of the art shopping malls. The government can sell unutilised land, pay off its debt and let the private sector invest. Pakistan Railways alone is sitting on thousands of acres of land. It can become profitable if it sells that land through a transparent method.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • whatever
    Dec 15, 2015 - 11:01AM

    whole Pakistan future depends on a Chinese road. this was bound to happen when you keep chanting kashmir while doing nothing. today in the lives of Pakistanis a Chinese premier has more importance than their own god. Recommend

  • Afzaal Ansari
    Dec 15, 2015 - 12:14PM

    i hope Pakistan will remain on the international community confidence Recommend

  • Mohammad
    Dec 15, 2015 - 1:34PM

    India started realizing the Geographic importance of Pakistan ref to Sushma Suraj’s visit to Pakistan.

    Pakistan is the opportunity, it’s up to India if they want to grab it before China take it over completely.

    Pakistan is the most important country for India, more important than Kashmir to survive or to compete with China by getting access to Centeral Asia, and Europe.. Big Markets..no?Recommend

  • optimist
    Dec 15, 2015 - 4:26PM

    I would say that the govt should not sell the land (e.g. Railway’s thousands of acres).
    .
    The government should give lease to private investors to build on that land and give ground rent. It will be a permanent source of income for national companies (such as railway). Recommend

  • Sandip
    Dec 16, 2015 - 2:25AM

    @Mohammad: Have you ever thought that Pakistan is betting it’s entire future on land that essentially belongs to India. The day Pakistan has to surrender this land, it will also surrender it’s future to India.Recommend

  • cautious
    Dec 16, 2015 - 7:20PM

    Name one “state of the art” development project associated with CPEC? Now explain how that project (if it exist) is going to stop the “brain drain” from Pakistan. CPEC has grown to mythical proportions but NOBODY including the British high commissioner ever talks about specifics. To my knowledge the few CPEC projects are being run by the Chinese with all high level jobs taken by Chinese so they won’t have any impact on Pakistan’s “brain drain”. Recommend

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