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Showing posts from January 6, 2020

China drops $11bn anchors to expand Maritime Silk Road

BELT AND ROAD Nikkei Asia Review State-owned operators Cosco and China Merchants dominate decade of spending SHIN WATANABE, Nikkei staff writer JANUARY 05, 2020 20:29 JST Greece has rejected China's plan to build an additional cargo terminal at Piraeus port amid concerns about growing Beijing influence.   © Reuters DALIAN, China -- Chinese companies have poured nearly $11 billion into overseas ports during the past decade, gaining access to strategic maritime hubs as part of its Belt and Road initiative, an aggressive investment campaign that has raised concerns about Beijing's growing clout across the world.  Chinese enterprises have invested in 25 port projects in 18 countries from 2010 through December, according to public documents reviewed by Nikkei. Though some projects have faced resistance or run into trouble, most ports that have accepted Chinese investments have fared well. The numbers indicate China is making strides on its vast infrastructure project.  The vast majo

China’s belt and road: an environmental disaster for Southeast Asia?

Beijing professes to be ‘greening’ its multitrillion-dollar trade initiative, yet has still invested heavily in fossil fuels and the extraction of natural resources The results could be habitat loss, increased pollution and the destruction of biodiversity, as well as the entrenchment of existing power structures Topic | Belt and Road Initiative Published:  8:15am, 5 Jan, 2020 Updated:  10:10am, 7 Jan, 2020 When Chinese President  Xi Jinping  first unveiled the  Belt and Road Initiative  in 2013, it was heralded as one of the largest infrastructure development schemes in history.   But the globe-spanning strategy, involving up to US$8.5 trillion in investments spread across more than 80 economies, also poses a number of potential environmental impacts and could threaten biodiversity, which is of particular concern for China’s neighbours in  Southeast Asia .   The region is a global biodiversity hotspot and home to numerous threatened species not found anywhere else in the world includin

Belt and Road: a double-edged sword? Lachlan Maddock — 1 minute read 07 January 2020 China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could permanently alter the global economic paradigm over the next decade. But is the devil in the details? The BRI is China’s effort to massively expand its influence in the developing world by embarking on an infrastructure project of incredible scale. If everything goes to plan, the BRI could boost global output by as much as $7.1 trillion per annum by 2040 and decrease the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty from 5.2 per cent to 3.9 per cent.  That’s a powerful argument for the project, which has been met with much consternation from powers whose global influence is fading. But is the BRI as altruistic as its architects claim? Advertisement Advertisement Sword or debt?  While the BRI is usually seen as a monolithic project, directed by a shadowy cabal of Beijing powerbrokers, the truth is more mundane. While Beijing has a say, the nitty-gritty is usually

shaik promises recovery and Jobs

THE PTI government is expecting 2020 to be the year of economic recovery and job creation with the support of higher development spending, beginning of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and revival of investor confidence. In an interview with  Dawn’s  Business & Finance, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the government’s economic policies were already showing early signs of recovery and would be strengthened by supportive initiatives for key sectors like tourism, housing and private sector investment. This would set the stage for not only job creation and reduce the cost of living but also create an environment that reflects Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of a welfare state. The following are some key takeaways of the interview. Investor confidence Dr Shaikh hoped that 2020 will be the year where we see a revival of the export industry after a decade of stagnant exports. Since coming to power in August 2018

Sell more to China

By  hasaan khawar  Jan.07,2020 The industrial, trade and investment policies should all have a single focus: how we can sell more to China The beginning of the year 2020 marks a new turn in China-Pakistan economic relations, with the operationalisation of the second phase of the China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II). The agreement has immediately abolished tariffs for Pakistan on 313 products, while a total of 75% of the tariff lines will be liberalised over the next decade. This will significantly improve access to the Chinese market for Pakistani exports. A wide variety of products are covered under these concessional tariffs including textiles, garments, seafood, meat, leather, chemicals, plastics and footwear. In addition, the FTA has improved safeguard mechanisms for protection of the domestic industry in Pakistan, introduced a safety valve against future balance of payment crises, and included enforcement of electronic data exchange to avoid mis-declaration and under-inv

ML-1 project under CPEC: Government to hire consultant

By  TAHIR AMIN  on  January 4, 2020 The government has decided to hire international consultant/firm to scrutinize the financial and technical design of Pakistan Railways' Main Line (ML-1) project, worth around $9.23 billion, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This was confirmed by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar in an exclusive talk with  Business Recorder  here on Friday. The Minister did not rule out further delay in project implementation as billions of dollars worth of investment requires proper groundwork to remove flaws, if any, and avoid damages in the long term. He further said that the $9.23 billion may not be the final cost of ML-1 as it is based on preliminary design/feasibility study. The cost would be finalized once the contract is awarded, Umar added. Before granting final approval of the project, the government wants to determine financial and technical flaws, if any, and the capacity of Railways to conceive such a huge projec

27 projects identified for joint cooperation under CPEC

By  TANVEER AHMED  on  January 2, 2020 As many as 27 projects have been identified for joint cooperation in socio-economic component of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Out of these 27 projects, 17 are fast track projects and ten are priority projects in the socio-economic component of CPEC and have been agreed by China and Pakistan. The socio-economic component has been categorised in the various sectors, i.e, agriculture, education, medical, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational education etc. China-Pakistan Joint Agriculture Technology Laboratory, provision of agricultural equipment and tools, China-Pakistan Joint Agricultural Demonstration Station, Bacterial Grass (JunCao) Technology Training and Promotion Project and Pakistan Agricultural Vocational Training are projects in agriculture sector. Provision of advanced teaching equipment for primary and secondary schools project, smart classroom project for higher education, maintenance and renovation for approximat

Pakistani PM inaugurates special economic zone under CPEC

Source: Xinhua |  2020-01-03 22:43:41 | ISLAMABAD, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the Allama Iqbal Industrial City, a special economic zone (SEZ) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the east Faisalabad city on Friday, the prime minister's office said. Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the SEZ, the prime minister termed CPEC as a golden opportunity for industrial development of Pakistan and the SEZ the first step towards the prosperous future of his country. China is Pakistan's close friend, and it is developing with leaps and bounds in every field, he said, adding that Pakistan has a great opportunity to make progress by learning from China, and diversifying CPEC by developing industrial and agricultural sectors to boost economic cooperation with China. "Many Chinese industrialists want to invest in Pakistan. I met many Chinese businessmen during my visit to China last year and they showed keen interest in invest

Will China’s Massive Investment in Pakistan Backfire? January 7, 2020 Amiera Sawas Researcher at Swedish International Peace Research Institute Nausheen H. Anwar Associate Professor of City & Regional Planning at Institute of Business Administration, Karachi China's President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a multibillion-dollar bilateral development project, has been the most prominent project on everyone's minds. Photo: Madoka Ikegami-Pool/Getty Images SHARE THIS ARTICLE         In Pakistan, there’s no topic hotter than the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),  a multibillion-dollar bilateral development project  that will, officials  promised  in 2015, “usher [in] an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity.” The CPEC is not only Pakistan’s first big injection of  foreign direct investment in a while , its focus on energy development is also desperately

Beijing calling the shots to Pakistan over CPEC

Asia Times Critics argue that the worst aspect of the terms is how little it might benefit the locals By KUNWAR KHULDUNE SHAHID A Aftera lull of more than a year, the second phase of the US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was initiated at the turn of 2019. The first phase was largely dedicated to setting up infrastructure and power projects in 2014-2018. The next will focus on industries, agriculture and trade. In this regard, the second phase will include nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across Pakistan, with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) identifying and mapping different industries in each SEZ. Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Punjab’s SEZ on January 3. The escalation of activity on CPEC projects comes after the incumbent Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government had started its tenure in August 2018 with skepticism about Islamabad’s agreements with Beijing. Asia Times reported  at t

Govt asked to speed up road, rail projects to connect Gwadar

APP ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives on Friday directed the authorities to expedite work on completion of road and railway network to connect Gwadar with rest of the country. In its meeting chaired by Senator Agha Shahzaib Khan Durrani, the committee observed that Gwadar’s connectivity with the rest of country through road network as well as railway lines is of paramount importance and directed Pakistan Railways to give a detailed briefing on the current position, issues and hiccups and long term planning on prospects of the same. Gwadar Development Authority director general gave a detailed briefing on Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan. The committee was told that the concept of master plan had two elements — Gwadar city and port — and the purpose was to create strategic objectives, create sustainable development and recommend means and interventions to develop Gwadar as a special economic district. Identifying Gwadar’s competi

Senate panel for connecting Gwadar city with rest of country

By  app   Jan.04,2020 Stresses on need for early completion of road and railways network ISLAMABAD  :  The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives on Friday directed the authorities concerned to work speedily on completion of road and railways network to connect Gwadar city with rest of the country. In its meeting chaired by Senator Agha Shahzaib Khan Durrani, the committee observed that Gwadar’s connectivity with the rest of country through road network as well as railway lines is of paramount importance and directed Pakistan Railways to give a detailed briefing on the current position, issues and hiccups and long term-planning on prospects of the same. The meeting was attended among others by Senators Shaheen Khalid Butt, Gianchand, Kauda Babar, Usman Khan Kakar, Mir Kabeer Shahi, planning, development and reforms secretary, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) director general and officials from the ministry. The GDA director general gave a detailed

Geopolitics of Balochistan

Pakistan Today It will play a central role in the New Great Game By Dawood Kakar Balochistan has great geopolitical significance regionally and internationally in terms of geostrategy and geo-economics. Balochistan is geopolitically situated at the heart of West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia and is stretched nearest to the northern shores of Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Geographically Balochistan is part of Spykman’s Rimland, and major powers need to have control of it. This can be seen in the New Great Game which is the heating economic armed competition of the USA and its NATO partners against the Republic of China, Russia and other SCO members in the resource-wealthy Central Asian region and the Indian Ocean. The New Great Game revolves around the geopolitics of Central Eurasia, where the issues related to oil and gas are the concern and priority of all states. Central Asia, being at the centre of Eurasia, is at the main focus of the New Great Game, putting the USA agai