CPEC, SCO Side By Side

CPEC is a project that the entire world has its eyes on. No one can refuse its importance for Islamabad and Beijing and of its potential to usher in a new era of prosperity and economic stability in Pakistan. This is not an exaggeration of the benefits of the project, for different participants who attended SCO conference held recently in Russia also discussed CPEC and its potential to change the lives of millions of people in the region.

Pakistan’ Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while addressing the participants of the conference expressed Islamabad’s desire to see CPEC’s connectivity with SCO’s corridors. If Pakistan’s desire of such connectivity materializes, the long dream of connecting Europe, South Asia, China, and South East Asia will come true. CPEC and SCO’s platform, if deliberated upon cleverly and tackled with adeptness, hold enormous gains for Pakistan. In fact, the whole region and people living here can enjoy the fruits of such development and cooperative schemes. The Chinese Premier while referring to One Belt, One Road project’s initiative CPEC, mentioned Pakistan and South Asia as massive economic markets for the SCO as the region has a significant population.

It is true that with the completion of projects like OBOR and CPEC South Asia and Southeast Asia can rise as the driving engines of global economic growth. Countries in these two regions complement each other economically; thus there is an excellent possibility of regional cooperation as well.

While there are some fears among critics of the CPEC project; that Chinese products will leave local manufacturers devastated, Chinese Ambassador, talking to Waqt News, opined that China understands that Pakistan will face difficulties in the trade with China. And to boost up Pakistani business, China is identifying areas within Chinese markets where Pakistani exports can be adjusted. The next phase of the scheme will empower Pakistani investors to raise their production capabilities and to increase their exports to Chinese and other regional markets.

PM, Abbasi in his address stressed upon the need of not politicizing projects like CPEC and OBOR for such projects will prove helpful in taking out people from abject poverty. Needless to say that development projects like CPEC and platform like SCO change the fate of the regions long suffering from poverty, hunger, insecurity. Instead of criticizing, states should consider the broader benefits attached to such schemes. Pakistan has already taken such an initiative, where instead of objecting to SCO’s decision of making India a full member, Abbasi congratulated India on the achievement. It is time for India to return the gesture.

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