CPEC Monthly Monitor – December 2017
Amid the existing political uncertainty in the country, the government claimed that all political parties and stakeholders are on the same page regarding CPEC execution while emphasizing that the project should not be politicized.
The most significant development was the release of Long Term Plan (LTP) of CPEC. As promised, the federal government publicly launched the LTP that highlighted the seven areas of cooperation under CPEC in three phases. The first phase is ending by 2020, 2nd by 2025, and 3rd completing in 2030.
These were some of the key developments occurring in December 2017. The findings have been shared in CPEC monthly monitor, released by CPEC Watch, an initiative of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank.
Every month, CPEC Watch releases a monthly monitor summarizing key development occurring around China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Below are the salient ones for December 2017:
- Despite the government’s assertion of equal developments of all regions under the CPEC, provincial and regional concerns continued to emerge:
- Balochistan’s nationalist political leaders – including former chief ministers Abdul Malik Baloch and Akhtar Mengal – criticized the federal and provincial governments for what they perceived as the lack of share/benefit of Balochistan in the CPEC.
- KP government noted the federal government was least responsive towards the petition filed in Peshawar High Court (PHC) seeking a due share for KP, and warned it will take the case again to the PHC.
- In December, two reports came from international organizations that appeared to have re-ignited the debate about Pakistan’s ability to pay back debt. First, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wrote that there is a risk of “rising repayment obligation and profit repatriation of CPEC linked projects.” Similarly, a report by Moody projected rise in the debt burden of Pakistan because of fiscal costs and development funding related to CPEC. Surely enough, Moody’s remind that should CPEC be successfully implemented, “there is potential for further strengthening in growth.”
- Reports this month projected the positive impact of CPEC on the transport industry and growth of real estate sector under the CPEC.
- As the questions raised by the business community in some parts of country about the same treatment of Pakistani and Chinese investors, government underlined that China and Pakistan are getting similar economic benefits under the CPEC.
- The agriculture sector has been included as an area of cooperation in the LTP for the sustainable economic growth of Pakistan.
- A report reflected the uncertainty of execution of at least three road projects under the CPEC while the government of Pakistan discredited the report saying the projects will be resumed after Chinese review, approve its financial mechanism.
- Burhan Shah Maqsood interchange of Hazara Motorway inaugurated is the second motorway project completed successfully in KP after M-I motorway.
- Iran has expressed its willingness to join CPEC, declared that Chabahar port and CPEC will complement each other in a cooperative framework.
Read complete “CPEC Monitor – December 2017” (PDF)