LAHORE: The benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have encouraged many local and foreign business groups to capitalise on the opportunities, however, little flow of information from the government makes it difficult for some groups to plan what they can get out of this mega project.
There are various opinions circulating in the local and foreign business community and some believe that the CPEC will turn the country into a transit route and may hurt the local industry.
CPEC: Chinese work ethic and its implication for Pakistan
Another set of beliefs is that the scope of this project is so huge that its benefits will turn Pakistan into a manufacturing hub, which could serve as a growth engine for Central Asian states.
Service Sales Corporation CEO Shahid Hussain discounts the theory that the project would hurt the local industry.
“It is unlikely that Pakistan will turn into a transit country and its industry will diminish,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune.
He, however, said the business groups had limited information about the development work and upcoming projects, like industrial hubs, and unless the government revealed the information it could not be said whether the dream of industrial hub would materialise or not.
“Development is going on but how it will increase fortunes for Pakistan’s economy in the absence of concrete information is a question mark,” he added.
Under the CPEC, road infrastructure and energy projects are being developed. Although some schemes have been delayed, the optimism is still high.
Teradata Corporation Chief Technology Officer Stephen Brobst said the region had the potential to lead the world as it had the intellectual capital and the talent. However, politics and security were the biggest hurdle, he added.
Significance of CPEC
CPEC in general would push Pakistan up, as global trade agreements would encourage transfer of technology, which would increase competition and innovation, Brobst remarked.
Some global firms, like Robert Bosch Gmbh and Volvo, have already entered the Pakistani market for security logistics and transportation, while some existing companies like China Mobile, having a strategic edge, are planning to be major communication partners.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2016.
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