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Showing posts from February 7, 2021

Top Developments - Belt and Road Monitor: RWR

Top Developments Iraq Awards Chinese Consortium $20 Billion in Construction Projects On January 18, an unnamed consortium of Chinese companies reportedly won bids on  construction  projects worth $20 billion in  Iraq’s  southern province of al-Muthanna. According to Adel Al-Yasiri, head of the al-Muthanna Investment Authority, the projects include a power station and several factories focused on the production of porcelain, ceramic walls and facades, and cardboard. The first phase of the project totals $2 billion. These contract awards followed a $2 billion prepaid oil purchase agreement with China’s ZhenHua Oil Co. in December that was  framed  by some observers as a bailout for the cash-strapped Iraq.   Philippine Mega-Project Cancelled with CCCC On January 27, the $10 billion Sangley Point International Airport project, previously awarded to a consortium led by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) in 2020, was  withdrawn . The firm reportedly failed to comply with contra

COVID-19 restrictions, other concerns affected China's BRI projects in 2020: Report

COVID-19 restrictions, other concerns affected China's BRI projects in 2020: Report         07 February, 2021 by  ANI Beijing [China], February 7 (ANI): About 15 Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects worth over USD 2.4 billion ran into trouble last year, according to a London-based think tank report. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said in a report titled 'China navigates its Covid-19 recovery - outward investment appetite and implications for developing countries' that the overall figure could be higher of all the setbacks to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. According to the report, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) was "greatly frustrated" by Zimbabwe's failure to pay a USD 10 million commitment fee for the Kunzvi Dam electricity project, contracted to Sinohydro. The report said the Zimbabwean government was understood to already owe a substantial debt to Sinosure. F

How China's Belt and Road Initiative is changing cities – and threatening communities

Elia Apostolopoulou ,  University of Cambridge February 2, 2021 4.20pm GMT The ancient Silk Road was a historical network of trade routes stretching from China to Europe. It was established around 2,000 years ago, during the  Han Dynasty  – often considered China’s golden age. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping  officially announced  China’s aspiration to recreate this network. The 21st century Silk Road, also called the Belt and Road Initiative, is the world’s largest infrastructure project in decades, with conservative estimates suggesting that its cost will exceed US$1 trillion. The creation of the New Silk Road involves the massive development of  trade routes and infrastructure corridors , including  everything  from railways, airports, ports, pipelines, industrial parks and real estate projects to free trade agreements and treaties. It has the potential to reshape the world in political, economic and  cultural  terms, and poses important  environmental risks . It is also profo

Pakistan set to begin Gwadar shipyard project

Pakistan keen to ramp up shipbuilding capacity and revitalise economic growth 20:36 February 5, 2021 Pakistan has finalised the details for the construction of a new shipyard in Gwadar. Image Credit: AP Sana Jamal  Correspondent Islamabad: Pakistan has finalised the details for the construction of a new shipyard in Gwadar, the country’s deep seaport in Balochistan, with an aim to incentivise commercial shipbuilding and repair industry, create new jobs and spur economic growth. Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments have announced a joint collaboration by signing an MoU for the establishment of Gwadar shipyard. The project in the strategically located Gwadar city is of “great regional importance” and also significant for the socio-economic development of Balochistan and overall Pakistan as it will “create employment for the locals” and boost revenue generation for the province, said Federal Minister for Defence Production Zobaida Jalal. Gwadar shipyard will offer shipbuilding and

Dreaming big in Balochistan

Social media literacy is also a major hurdle in the intelligent use of digital platforms in Pakistan Usman Kabir  |  February 06, 2021     QUETTA: In the past five years, the social media following of young entertainers has increased dramatically, so much so that many Pakistani teenagers have achieved stardom overnight, amassing millions of fans on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok by posting content that youth finds relatable and engaging. Haris Baloch, a young man hailing from Kharan, one of the most underdeveloped areas of the country, is aiming to change that by providing established social media stars with all the help they need in tackling threats to their social media presence. These threats have increased in recent years because of misinformation, cyber attacks, and coordinated anti-Pakistan campaigns supported by hackers and even some Indian nationals at big technology firms. The threats on social media In August last year, a movement gained traction on social media that called f

2 killed, several injured in separate blasts in Balochistan

2 killed, several injured in separate blasts in Balochistan         06 February, 2021 by  ANI Quetta [Balochistan], February 6 (ANI): At least two people were killed and four others were injured in an explosion near the DC office on Inscomb Road in Quetta on Friday. This blast came hours after an explosion in Balochistan's Sibi district injured 24 persons, according to police officials and eyewitnesses. According to Quetta Civil Hospital Medical Superintendent Arbab Kamran, the bodies of two victims were brought to the facility, while four injured persons were brought for treatment, reported Dawn. Security forces cordoned off the area after the explosion while evidence was being collected. Balochistan Governor Justice Aman Ullah Khan Yasinzai condemned the incident, saying miscreants wanted to harm the country's integrity. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Earlier today, at least 24 people were injured in a blast, including children in a blast in Balo

Infrastructure construction under CPEC will transform model: CHINCA

Sun, 7 Feb 2021, 1:52 PM BEIJING, Feb 7 (APP): Chairman of China International Contractors Association (CHINCA), Fang Qiuchen has said that infrastructure construction under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will transform and upgrade their model in several aspects. This week, China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) summarized the development of Chinese international projects in BRI countries in 2020. According to the summary, in 1979, the annual value of China’s overseas contracts was only $34 million, and in 2020, the number exceeded $250 billion, an increase of nearly 8,000 times in the past 40 years, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Sunday. Fang said, Asia, the largest benefited destination area of China’s infrastructure assistance, has accounted for more than 50% of the newly signed and completed contracts globally in 2020. Among them, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia are key host countries. ALSO READ    Voices for Ka

CPEC and multiculturalism

CPEC and multiculturalism MUHAMMAD AMIR RANA APART from its strategic and regional connectivity outlook, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had also offered hope for Pakistan’s economic revival and industrial transformation. But that hope has gradually been waning. Not only have the power elites not been able to assess and strategise the real potential of the initiative, the implementing apparatus too was seen as disjointed and unprepared. CPEC could also do wonders for the sociopolitical and cultural transformation of the country, which is plagued by a variety of extremist and conservative tendencies. These tendencies are not only damaging the social fabric, they have also led to a mindset that is retrogressive and uncreative. CPEC was, and still remains, an opportunity to introduce a multicultural character. At the outset, CPEC had encouraged medium- to large-scale Chinese investors to invest in Pakistan. But the nexus of the bureaucracy and conservative industrial class held the C

CPEC not benefitting people of Balochistan: Provincial minister

ANI |  Updated:  Feb 06, 2021 16:04 IST Turbat ( Balochistan ) [ Pakistan ], February 6 (ANI): The China- Pakistan  Economic Corridor ( CPEC ) is not benefitting the people of  Balochistan , said provincial minister  Asad Baloch , adding that Prime Minister  Imran Khan -led government is not serious about resolving the problems faced by people of the province. Baloch, who is the Provincial Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education, on Wednesday said the provincial assembly had passed resolutions on several issues, including high number of accidents on the highways linking  Balochistan  with the rest of the country, smuggling of fruits and vegetables from Iran and construction of a double carriageway from Chaman to Quetta, but the federal government did nothing to resolve these issues, Dawn reported. Balochistan  remains  Pakistan 's poorest and least populous province despite a number of development projects initiated by Islamabad there in the past. In 2015, China announced