Saudi Rationale For CPEC
Emerging importance of the CPEC in the international arena is the concern of the great economic interest of many nations. Among them, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is, now, having an eye on the multi-projects of the CPEC and willing to participate in it for the diversity in the country economy. One of the Geo-Economic reasons of the Saudi Arabian government is to become part of the great project of CPEC to relate its economy with China and to take steps in completing its 2030’s Vision as well.
Pakistan and Saudi shared great economic relations for many decades. Now, the Saudi government is willing to take part in the huge investments of the great projects of the region that would be very influential in the regional politics. The vision of the KSA 2030 Plan is to make the diverse economy in mega projects like powerhouses and energy to turn from its oil dependency. With the help of multi-dimensional projects, Saudi government can play its role in the power politics among many Muslims countries including Pakistan and other regional countries. Keeping in the eye the three distinguished pillars of the Saudi 2030 Vision which is ‘in the thought of the Saudi Government’ achievable, the government is willing to expand its economy in the regional horizon. It is well highlighted in the 3rd pillar that it is the plan of the KSA to connect itself with the three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe) to make its unique location a global hub for the vast economic activities.
This is the age of the regionalism, countries are depending more on one another because of the regional markets which are influencing the economy of many countries in the region. Saudi Government is willing to take an active part in the CPEC project as it can influence its economy to make trade and business on large scale.
As CPEC is the emerging global trade midpoint, it would be a great privilege for the Saudi Government to adhere its investment here and gain rise in the economy. CPEC project will provide the network of the great trade pattern for Saudi Arabia to engage even better in the world trade traffic. Saudi trade would be accessible to the east and west with very cheap ways. CPEC can connect Saudi Arabia to Russia and Central Asia as well. It would be a great geopolitical achievement for KSA as it will remind the world of the great ancient silk route where east was connected to the west and north from the south.
This project has a significant geopolitical component mainly focused on the advancement of China toward the greatest trade in the world which is also creating great economic and development opportunities for the other countries which share the route. It will also eradicate China’s trade dependence on the Malacca Strait and will improve the trade rate with respect to the time.
If we talk about the regional interest of China towards the Middle East many questions arise like why this region is important for China? Or does China have any Geo-Economic or Geo-Political strategy for this region? As Middle Eastern countries are rich in oil and natural resources China had been interested in this land long ago, even during the oil wars. Although China never take active or direct part in oil politics but the country is much interested in the oil reservoirs for the future stock. Doing trade with the Saudi Kingdom it would be a great economic interest of China as well to gain benefits from the oil power. KSA will also be able to help China to have a better crude oil for its import purposes as billions of dollars of China’s economy is highly dependent on the trade activities.
China is very careful regarding publishing any statement in the matters of trade and economic relations with Middle Eastern countries but in the broader context, China main interest in the Middle East is the access of the energy and natural resources. The other main interest of China is to expand its geostrategic influence in the region by doing trade and economic activities with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has an influential position in the politics of Middle East but recently different conflicts showed up the weakness in the policies of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. The Saudi government is shifting its interest and investment toward other regional projects to occupy regional influence by participating in the regional economic activities and to achieve progress in its 2030 vision. Saudi Arabia ‘an oil power’ is facing hurdles in its economy as there are many other competitors of oil dealers in the market. The country is dependent on the oil which is vulnerable to oil price shocks. This is also one of the reasons that KSA is shifting its economic activities from oil marketing. The other reason is that Saudi Arabia was the stronger player in the world of oil market but now as Iran is free from sanctions and Saudi fall in politics of the Middle East is affecting the influence of the Saudi crown.
Many blame Saudi Arabia as a supporter of the different banned outfit in Pakistan but when it comes to the trade Saudi should have to perform its role in positive and neutral manners regarding any religious activities. It is a very important factor that Pakistan is the only nuclear power in the Muslim world and now having the exclusive trade route and network with the collaboration of China. It would be also great if Pakistan would stay neutral in any political matter of the Muslim world and expands its diplomatic ends with Muslim brothers.
Expanding economic relation is the best way to increase its brotherly relations with the Muslim countries especially in the Middle East. CPEC can be the best way to enlarge the economic relations among the Muslim world as it creates numerous economic opportunities. The Muslim world should also need to engage with this great project of Pakistan to come over the great sufferers from the past and raise their economic and diplomatic relations.
Pakistan can be the best door for the Saudi Government for the expansion of the influence and economy. Both countries can make a progress in the economy by helping each other with good faith. CPEC includes many other countries which are participating in the regional economic cooperation and it can be very beneficial for both sides to take benefit from this exclusive economic trade routes