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Showing posts from October 23, 2018

Is the Crown Jewel of the Belt and Road Losing Its Shine?

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Saadsuddozai

A new report suggests that Pakistan’s new government is rethinking CPEC. What does that mean for the whole BRI?By Shannon TiezziOctober 24, 2018When Imran Khan took the oath as Pakistan’s new prime minister back in August, the general consensus was that China had nothing to fear. Despite the change in government from the previous ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) to Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), there was no reason to think the PTI would jeopardize the long-standing “iron brotherhood” between Pakistan and China. As Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, told The Diplomat at the time of Khan’s swearing-in, “There’s a deep political consensus in Pakistan in favor of maintaining Islamabad’s deep partnership with Beijing. That won’t change under Khan.”Since then, however, there have been signs that Khan might be rethinking the Chin…

Singapore launches agency to broker Asian infrastructure deals

Global financial hub positions itself as broker to help meet Asia’s looming infrastructure investment gap worth an estimated US$460 billion annuallyReutersUPDATED : Wednesday, 24 Oct 2018, 9:20AM 15Singapore launched a government agency on Tuesday to support infrastructure projects across Asia, which need billions of dollars in funding, and make them more appealing to financial institutions and private investors.The global financial hub’s decision to position itself as a broker for regional infrastructure investment comes as China ramps up efforts to fund and build transport and trade links in dozens of countries as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.Flagged earlier this year, Singapore’s ‘Infrastructure Asia’ agency will be led by its central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Enterprise Singapore, an arm of the trade ministry.Asia is estimated to face an investment gap of US$460 billion annually for infrastructure, according to estimates from the Asian Development Bank…

26 countries to converse on political, economic affairs in Gwadar

BY MONITORING REPORT , (LAST UPDATED 22 HOURS AGO)A three-day meeting of the Committee on Political Affairs of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) will be held in Gwadar next week in which parliament members from 26 countries shall participate and converse on political dynamics, economic trade and other issues pertaining to the Asian region.While making the announcement, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani said the conference is set to begin on October 29.Sanjrani added that Gwadar was the future economic hub of the country due to its geographic and strategic significance, and the purpose of this conference was to highlight its importance as a trade centre to the rest of the countries and to tell them that Pakistan is a peaceful country with several investment opportunities.The member countries will also discuss prospects for economic cooperation and resolutions pertaining to the rule of law and judicial empowerment in Asia, building more avenues for friendship and diplomatic cooperatio…

World Bank to undertake study on CPEC

By Shahbaz RanaPublished: October 24, 2018
The World Bank study would also review the prospects of trade and implications of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor debt. PHOTO: FILEISLAMABAD: Beijing has engaged the World Bank for undertaking a study on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as Islamabad lacks the institutional capacity to conduct evidence-based research to gauge the real potential of the $60-billion investment programme.The study covers the implementation status of CPEC and its future prospects, according to a briefing World Bank Country Director Illango Patchamuthu gave to Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar on Tuesday.The Washington-based lender is conducting the study on six different aspects of CPEC and expects to complete the work by the end of this year, said officials.The development comes at a time when Pakistan is urging China to fast-track work on the CPEC projects being completed with Chinese grant.Senate riled up over Saudi role in CPECThe Economic Affairs D…

‘Next 3-6 months difficult for country’: PM talks economy, CPEC, PTI’s plans

OCTOBER 23, 2018

RIYADH: Prime Minister Imran Khanon Tuesday said that the next three to six months are going to be difficult for the country but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government remains adamant to chalk long-term policies to achieve development related goals and end corruption.Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference 2018 in Riyadh, Khan shed light on PTI’s policies among other matters of Pakistan’s concern. “Next 3-6 months are going to be difficult for Pakistan. It’s a crucial time. Corruption makes a country poor and our main objective is to eliminate malpractice and strengthen state institutions,” Khan said.“We have been in power for 60 days. We have inherited two big deficits; fiscal deficit and current account deficit. So the immediate concern of our government is to increase exports because we have shortage of foreign reserves,” PM Khan said when asked about the economic agenda of the PTI government.Also read: The hope is Imran Khan“We need to …

A critical look at China’s One Belt, One Road initiative

Sunday 21 October 2018, by Martin Hart-LandsbergChina’s growth rate remains impressive, even if on the decline. The country’s continuing economic gains owe much to the Chinese state’s (1) still considerable ability to direct the activity of critical economic enterprises and sectors such as finance, (2) commitment to policies of economic expansion, and (3) flexibility in economic strategy. It appears that China’s leaders view their recently adopted One Belt, One Road Initiative as key to the country’s future economic vitality. However, there are reasons to believe that this strategy is seriously flawed, with working people, including in China, destined to pay a high price for its shortcomings.Chinese growth trends downwardChina grew rapidly over the decades of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s with production and investment increasingly powered by the country’s growing integration into regional cross-border production networks. By 2002 China had become the world’s biggest recipient of foreig…

IRGC confirms abduction of 12 forces near Pakistan border

Mon Oct 22, 2018 02:45PMHomeIranPoliticsPosting this photo on its social media channel on October 21, 2018, the so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the abduction of 12 Iranian security personnel near the town of Mirjaveh on the Pakistani border.Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has confirmed claims made by the so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group about the names and number of the Iranian border guards abducted in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on the border with Pakistan.IRGC spokesman, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, told IRNA on Monday that 12 border guards have been kidnapped, rejecting earlier reports about the abduction of 14 forces.The Pakistan-based terrorist group on Sunday posted two photos on its social media channel and claimed responsibility for the abduction of 12 Iranian security personnel, including IRGC and Army forces, near the town of Mirjaveh on the Pakistani border.The photos also showed a haul of a…