September 14, 2018
ISLAMABAD : Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Friday welcomed the decision of the government to stand by CPEC which has put rumours to rest.
Recent statements by some government functionaries had created an impression that CPEC agreements will be reviewed which resulted in uncertainty which is now settled, it said.
CPEC is an integral part of the country’s economic future which cannot be compromised under any circumstances, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.
The recent move of the government has disappointed opponents of CPEC, he said, adding that one of the best ways to address concerns and reservations over the CPEC is making the whole process transparent.
Enhanced clarity will allay concerns of Pakistani business community a good part of which is suspicious about the project as they consider it will not be as beneficial as claimed by the politicians.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the suspicions are supported by unnecessary secrecy and the fact that FTA with China inked during Musharraf’s regime resulted in colossal losses to Pakistan.
The local trade and industry have repeatedly alleged that the FTA is lopsided in China’s favour and now Chinese companies are enjoying an unfair advantage over local firms.
It may be mentioned that the PML-N government tried its best to make FTA-II balanced but failed due to the determined attitude of Chinese negotiators.
The best way to tackle rumours and misunderstanding about the project is to make all deals transparent that would silence CPEC critics, he demanded.
Islamabad and Beijing should fully support CPEC and masses should stand firmly behind it but the image of the project should be safeguarded through transparency as a fall in its popularity at this juncture will be unfortunate.