ASIABUSINESSOPINION

China 6 Magical economic corridor

By Hazrat Hassan

Pakistan has developed its second largest port Gwadar with the help of the Chinese along its Arabian Sea coast in the far southwestern corner of its Baluchistan Province. China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) will stretch from the Western Chinese city of Kashgar in the Xinxiang province of China to the port of Gwadar, thus providing China an access to the Arabian Sea barely 600 kilometer east of the narrow Strait of Hormuz through which pass about 35% of the world’s oil shipments. CPEC which includes roads and railways will pass through the entire territorial length of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir (PoK) and Baluchistan and it will reduce the distance for Chinese goods bound for Europe, Africa, the entire western hemisphere, substantially by almost 2000 miles and vice versa. Trade by CPEC will be bypassing the Strait of Malacca in Southeast Asia by that many miles. The Chinese goods if they were to be unloaded at New York or Norfolk and Baltimore rather than California will travel less by two thousand miles though the Suez Canal route. [1]

China is investing a hefty sum ($900 bn) in a project known as the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative – this scheme seeks to boost integrated economic growth between Eurasia through mega infrastructure projects. The OBOR project includes 6 corridors under two roads, the New Silk Road Economic Belt running west towards Europe through Russia and Central Asian and the 21st Century Maritime Road focuses on reaching Europe through South Asia and Southwest Africa. [2]

As one of President Xi Jinping’s key policies, the OBOR project aims to connect China with 60 countries, setting up potential trade with a further 4.4bn people. The economic implications are enormous, valued at $21 trillion, whilst also boosting China’s GDP by 25%. China’s economy has recently stumbled, this should help it expand again and reach its 6.8% projected growth rate by easing exports and tightening international relations and global affairs. [3]

The 6 corridors demonstrated below run between: China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC); New Eurasian Land Bridge (NELB); China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC); China-Indo-China Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC); China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC). [4]

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of the first of the 6 corridors to start construction is receiving $46bn and a further injection of $1.6bn agreed in August. The scale and scope of how large this is, the investment from China is approximately 20% of Pakistan’s GDP. Construction of the CPEC is already well underway and gaining momentum with roads of 502km already constructed. With an expected completion date of 2017 it has been given priority and a fast track by the Pakistani Government says, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In theory, it should have a positive knock-on effect on the economy creating railways, roads, power plants, and hence jobs and investments. The corridor is being supported by the world’s largest solar power plan costing $1.5bn and a hydro power plant worth $1.6bn. The whole CPEC project brings about 4.5% in projected GDP growth. [5]

Most importantly, other planned corridors in the OBOR initiative aim to connect China to the Middle East, giving it direct access the Arabian Sea and the energy-rich Persian Gulf markets whilst also closing the distance by at least 10,000km. Oil-rich countries in the gulf still face major challenges when it comes to exporting their oil. Only recently has Iran come out saying they have a lot more oil than countries are demanding. The passage is set to ease this problem with neighbouring countries already signing deals with the exporter. [6]

However the ongoing turmoil with political and social power within the country is a huge problem, potentially pushing away foreign investment for a country with a population of 180 million. It will be interesting to see if the CPEC will be able meet its 2017 deadline. [7]

In the meantime, Hindustan Times reviewed, China has over and over noticed that “the CPEC, which is a piece of [China’s] Silk Road activity, is gone for enhancing individuals’ employments and not the slightest bit influences the status of the Kashmir issue. [8]

Whenever finished, the system of streets and railroads will associate western China toward the southwestern Pakistani port city of Gwadar in Baluchistan region. A year ago, Pakistan and China inked a 43 year lease bargain on the remote ocean port, arranged on the shore of the Arabian Sea. [9]

A month ago, Pakistani authorities reported that Islamabad was setting up a 10,000 in number uncommon military power assigned to secure Chinese nationals and undertakings along the CPEC. As indicated by China Daily, Beijing had beforehand communicated security attentiveness toward the developing number of Chinese architects and specialists required in financial ventures in Pakistan (more than 14,000 Chinese staff are accepted to be required in 200+ undertakings in the nation). [10]

“The port of Gwadar has awesome vital noteworthiness for China, and is seen as a contrasting option to the Strait of Malacca, through which more than 80% of the oil imported by China instantly streams, the examiner noted. “As is known, this strait if accurately controlled by the United States,” he included. [11]

References

  1. (chinadaily.com.cn), Yang Ziman. “Six economic corridors to better connect Asia and Europe.” China Daily, 2015.
  2. “A CorridorNetwork.” CAREC CORRIDORS, 2014.
  3. Bader, Laith. “chinas-6-magical-economic-corridors.” The Market Mogul, 2014.
  4. BATOOL, SANA. “Pakistan-China Economic Corridor – a mutually beneficial project.” The Nation, 2016.
  5. “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).” Pakistan Times, 2016.
  6. Commission, European. “Infrastructure – TEN-T – Connecting Europe.” Mobility and Transport, 2012.
  7. Daily), Khalid Rahman(China. “Economic corridor benefits not just China and Pakistan.” China Daily, 2016.
  8. Markey, Daniel S. “Behind China’s Gambit in Pakistan.” Council on Foreign Relations, 2016.
  9. Mogul, Market. “China’s Troops in Pakistan May Be an Attempt to Bypass US at Sea.” China’s 6 Magical Economic Corridors, 2016.
  10. Muhammad, Laith. “China’s 6 Magical Economic Corridors http://mktmgl.co/1LmueHf.” The Market Mogul, 2015.
  11. WaliZahid. “CPEC – Progress and prosperity for the next 15 years?” FOR Pakistan, 2015.

Tags
Show More

Hazrat Hassan

Hazrat Hassan holds MS Finance from International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Related Articles

Back to top button