Skip to main content


Showing posts from January 24, 2018

18 Projects to Watch in 2018 Dec. 22, 2017 Photo credit: Getty, ANTHONY WALLACE / Contributor Reconnecting Asia is tracking developments across a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of the top projects to watch in 2018. Anaklia Port Georgia’s “ project of the century ” will enter its first phase of development in 2018. Once completed, it will be the country's largest port and serve as the main trade gateway for approximately 17 million inhabitants of landlocked Central Asia and the Caucasus. Astana Light Rail Originally planned for completion in 2010, the construction of this 18-station metro in Kazakhstan’s capital city is set for completion in December 2018. After receiving a loan from the China Development Bank in 2015, the project has become a key symbol of Kazakhstan's eff

The Indo-Japanese Pivot to Africa Jan. 23, 2018|By Sarah Watson Photo credit: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images In pursuit of a robust strategic partnership, India and Japan are broadcasting their desire to work together far beyond South Asia, with an emphasis on Africa. Their vision for an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) lacks detail, but still offers an opportunity to raise both countries’ profile in a strategic continent. To compete with China’s presence there, however, India and Japan will have to show that they are committed to the continent and that they can deliver not just on quality but also on speed. The four India-Japan joint statements released since Prime Minister Modi took office show a clear growth in the ambition for activities beyond India. The  2014  statement primarily emphasized Japanese investment in India; when it ventured abroad, it did so in the context of building connectivity between India’s Northeast and Southeas

Chinese contractors grab lion’s share of Silk Road projects Chinese contractors grab lion’s share of Silk Road projects Beijing fails to share benefits of transport infrastructure programmes China’s pledge to the world is that it will create a “community with a shared future for mankind”. But that sharing is no more than an afterthought as it rolls out an ambitious programme to build transport infrastructure across Eurasia, a study shows. Of the contractors working on China-funded transport infrastructure projects in 34 Asian and European countries, 89 per cent were Chinese, leaving 11 per cent from elsewhere, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank. The discrepancy challenges the rhetoric that Beijing has used to promote its “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), a signature policy of Xi Jinping, China’s leader, which seeks to build infrastructure to win friends in some 70 countries. In his speech to the 19th par

Gwadar Expo 2018 to be held on January 29-30 By  APP  - January 24, 2018 ISLAMABAD :  China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) and Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) are jointly organising the first ever international exhibition in Gwadar Free Zone on January 29-30, 2018. Meanwhile, Gwadar Free Zone (Phase-1) will also be inaugurated during the expo. The expo is set to be a mega event in Balochistan’s history which would help the exhibitors and the participants to understand the real potential of Gwadar port. Over 200 companies from both Pakistan and China in various sectors including trading, services, automotive, food processing, shipping, logistics and warehousing, light-end assembly and re-cycling, light manufacturing and assembly, value added industries, shipping lines, fish and seafood processing, logistics, warehousing and transportation, fruits and vegetable processing, import and export, transshipment and transit, minerals pro

CPEC to bring massive socio-economic benefits Staff Report JANUARY 25, 2018 ISLAMABAD :  CPEC is bringing massive changes that are benefitting the common person in the country. This was stated by the Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal at a workshop organized by the Center of Excellence for CPEC (CoE-CPEC), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad. The workshop brought together experts and consultants on a consultative process for identifying key socio-economic indicators to map the impact of CPEC. Centre of Excellence designed and distributed field instruments amongst relevant stakeholders including ministries to get their inputs. The workshop was inaugurated by the Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who gave valuable suggestions and thought provoking ideas for measuring socio-economic changes under the CPEC interventions that include infrastructure, energy, SEZs, tourism, Gwadar port, agriculture and other sectors included in the Long Term

Islamabad seeks duty reduction on exports to China Mubarak Zeb Khan Updated January 24, 2018 Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha will meet a delegation from Beijing next month to push for Chinese market access in the second phase of FTA negotiations. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will demand unilateral concessions on approximately 70 products mostly of export interest to China as part of the second phase of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This demand came from top government officials when the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, visited the commerce ministry to invite Commerce and Textile Minister Pervez Malik to a six-day international import-expo exhibition in Shanghai. The exhibition is scheduled for Nov 5-10. A source privy to the meeting told Dawn that the duty reduction on these products will be discussed in the eighth round of negotiations scheduled for Feb 7. Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha will lead Pakistan’s delegation to the meeting. The so

Belt and Road Initiative much more than infra partnership with China: Pakistan PM China's massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seeks to build rail, maritime and road links from Asia to Europe and Africa in a revival of ancient Silk Road trading routes. PTI @ moneycontrolcom     Expressing strong support to China on its Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said it is much more than just an infrastructure partnership and will go a long way in creating a shared future in a fractured world. ADVERTISING Speaking at a panel discussion here at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Abbasi said, "We strongly recognise the vision of China and President Xi Jinping." China's massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seeks to build rail, maritime and road links from Asia to Europe and Africa in a revival of ancient Silk Road trading routes. The issues related to BRI, earlier known a

The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp

The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp Fast-paced advances in technology are creating diffuse and volatile conditions in which international actors operate. Disruptive innovations such as machine learning and big data analytics are changing governments, NGOs, the media, businesses, and in some cases entire industries. New and unexpected players entering the field are putting pressure on the traditional division of roles between government, business, journalism and civil society. And this is just the beginning: technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain are only just starting to have an impact. This poses a challenge not just for governments but for every actor in the international public space. We find ourselves at a turning point that calls for new alliances between actors capable not only of responding to these challenges, but capable of anticipating and embracing them. To explore these issues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands is organising  The Hague Digit

Gwadar Expo steps reviewed January 24, 2018 ISLAMABAD-Pakistan and China have expressed satisfaction over preparation for first  Gwadar   Expo  and inauguration of  Gwadar  Free Zone (Phase-1) to be held on Jan 29 and 30. This was stated by Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Lijian Zhao in a meeting with Secretary Planning, Development & Reform (PD&R) Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui. Lijian Zhao said that China would ensure all-out efforts for the projects approved by Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC). The Chinese envoy and secretary planning discussed post 7th Joint Cooperation Committee situation and way forward for expediting China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. The meeting held in MPD&R was also attended by Hassan Daud, Project Director CPEC and officials from Chinese Embassy. Both the officials reviewed progressed on the CPEC initiatives and agreed on enhancing engagements i

Exiled Baloch to protest Gwadar expansionist moves in London ANI | Updated: Jan 24, 2018 16:03IST London  [United Kingdom], Jan. 24 (ANI): The  Free Balochistan Movement  ( FBM ) has announced plans to hold a two-day protest against illegal development by foreign companies in the port city  Gwadar . The protest will take place on  January  27 and 28 in  London . British firm 'One Investments' is trying to lure investors to "securely invest with  China 's fourth largest construction company, Secure Freehold Land Investment from 14,000  pounds , Payments from only 700  pounds  per month and 373 percent returns projected over three years." The  Free Balochistan Movement said the aim of their protest is to tell the world and international investors that the Chinese and Pakistanis are illegally colonising Balochistan and attempting to change the demography of Balochistan with their expansionist  designs .

Bizenjo pledges to defend rights of Gwadar residents By  Mohammad Zafar Published: January 24, 2018 PHOTO: FILE QUETTA :  Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has pledged to defend the basic rights of the residents of Gwadar, saying that they will not be converted into minority following the development of Gwadar under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “ The provincial government will make laws in order to defend and protect the rights of the people of Gwadar,” said the Balochistan chief minister while addressing a news conference at the CM Secretariat on Tuesday. Policy in the making to attract foreign investment: Bizenjo CM Bizenjo said that he would take all stakeholders on board for framing laws that defend the legitimate and fundamental rights of local residents, adding that he would seek help from experts and lawyers in doing so. He said, “ There is no question of converting the Baloch people into minority in their

CPEC most important element for global business community: Romanian Ambassador ISLAMABAD : “Pakistan is a very important country not only for the region but for the world at large … Pakistan has huge potential in economics and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of the most important elements of attraction for the business community from the world over. This was stated by H.E. Mr. Nicolaie Goia, Ambassador of Romania at a Public Talk on Pakistan-Romania Relations held at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), under its Ambassadors Platform series 2018. Ambassador Goia went on to explain how his country stopped the decline of its economy and went on to becoming the fastest growing economy in Europe with a steady parliamentary democracy. Romania is now a medium to high income exporting economy – it is number 41 in the world when it comes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Romania is also important for Pakistan because being a member of the Europ

CPEC's results already coming in, says PM Abbasi at Davos By Web Desk Wednesday Jan 24, 2018   DAVOS: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stated on Wednesday that the results of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have already started to come in.  Speaking at a session titled 'The Belt and Road Impact' at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Abbasi said CPEC is about developing infrastructure, power plants, airports, seaports, highways and special economic zones for export growth. Sharing the results of the over $56 billion CPEC, Abbasi said the cement industry has grown by 56 per cent while exports are up by 15 per cent, adding that the project has resulted in the creation of "great investor confidence". PM Abbasi reaches Davos to attend World Economic Forum The prime minister also said that despite establishing coal plants under CPEC, the net effect on the environment will be positive through