Friday, October 7, 2016

CPEC To Add 2.5 Million New Jobs & Boost Pakistan GDP Growth to 7.5%

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to add over 2 million direct and indirect jobs to Pakistan's economy and boost the country's GDP growth rate to 7.5%.

Jobs & Economic Growth in Pakistan: 

US-based consulting firm Deloitte and Touche estimates that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will create some 700,000 direct jobs during the period 2015–2030 and raise its GDP growth rate to 7.5%,  adding 2.5 percentage points to the country's current GDP growth rate of 5%.


Pakistan Country Report in Shamghai Business Review Feb/March 2016

An additional 1.4 million indirect jobs will be added in supply-chain and service sectors to support the projects.  An example of indirect jobs is the massive expansion in Pakistan's cement production that will increase annual production capacity from 45 million tons to 65 million tons, according to a tweet by Bloomberg's Faseeh Mangi. Other indirect jobs will be in sectors ranging from personal services to housing and transportation.



CPEC Benefits for Pakistan & China: 

The CPEC will open doors to immense economic opportunities not only to Pakistan but will physically connect China to its markets in Asia, Europe and beyond, according to the Deloitte report.

Almost 80% of the China’s oil is currently transported from the Middle East through the Strait of Malacca to Shanghai, (distance is almost 16,000 km and takes 2-3 months). With Gwadar port in Pakistan becoming operational, the distance would reduce to less than 5,000 km. If all goes well and on schedule, of the 21 agreements on energy– including gas, coal and solar energy– 14 will be able to provide up to 10,400 megawatts (MW) of energy by March 2018. According to China Daily, these projects would provide up to 16,400 MW of energy altogether.

India's War on CPEC: 

The biggest challenge that CPEC faces today is India's well-orchestrated effort to sabotage it. Not only are Indian leaders on record as opposing CPEC, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-hand man Ajit Doval have unleashed a concerted effort to try to make it impossible.

Mr. Modi has openly expressed support for Baloch separatists and Ajit Doval has talked about Pakistan "losing Balochistan". A serving Indian Navy commander Kulbhushan Yadav has been arrested working undercover to wage covert war in Pakistan.

RAW Money Flow:

India has opened up a big money money spigot to use its agents to destabilize Pakistan. RK Yadav, an ex intelligence official of RAW, has in a TV interview (Siyasat Ki Baat with RK Yadav video 6:00 minutes), talked about RAW agents with "suitcases and cupboards full of money".

Ex RAW chief A.S. Dulat has said "money goes a long way" in intelligence operations.

Current National Security Advisor has talked about RAW recruiting terrorists with one-and-a-half times the money they are making from other sources.

RK Yadav has, in his book "Mission R&AW",  written about RAW money paid to late Pakistani politician Khan Abul Wali Khan in 1970s. He's also confirmed the existence of RAW-inspired 1960s Agartala Conspiracy that recruited Shaikh Mujib ur Rehman's Awami League to work for Indian intelligence.

More recently, London Police documents have revealed the testimony of MQM leaders Muhammad Anwar and Tariq Mir confirming that Altaf Husain received money from Indian intelligence.

Modi's Campaign to Isolate Pakistan:

While RAW is busy funding terror in Pakistan, the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Modi has launched a diplomatic offensive to have Pakistan declared a "state sponsor of terror". It's intended to deflect attention from Indian Army's brutality against innocent Kashmiris and to cover up his own proxy war of terror to sabotage CPEC in Pakistan.

Summary:

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game-changer for Pakistan. It will build power plants and other infrastrastructure, boost Pakistan's GDP growth to 7.5% and add millions of new jobs to bring prosperity to Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Modi is very unhappy about it and he has launched a multi-pronged concerted effort to sabotage CPEC by using covert wars and diplomatic offensives to hurt Pakistan. Can Pakistan defeat Indian plans and succeed in building a prosperous future? That is the big question. The answer depends on how well Pakistanis can unite to make it happen.

Here's a video by Gaurav Garg explaining why India wants to sabotage CPEC:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd_z9kf8AeE




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Modi's Covert War in Pakistan

ADB Raises Pakistan GDP Growth Forecast

Gwadar as Hong Kong West

China-Pakistan Industrial Corridor

Indian Spy Kulbhushan Yadav's Confession

Ex Indian Spy Documents RAW Successes Against Pakistan

Saleem Safi of GeoTV on Gwadar

Pakistan FDI Soaring with Chinese Money for CPEC

20 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important consensus reached by the Chinese and Pakistani governments and of great significance in enhancing bilateral connectivity, improving people's livelihood and fostering pragmatic economic and trade cooperation.

"It was reported by an Urdu newspaper recently that the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan informed Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and KP government that the western route doesn't exist in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This is untrue," remarked a spokesperson in Chinese Embassy in a statement here on Wednesday.

He said China and Pakistan had put in place a sound mechanism of communication and coordination on the development of CPEC.

On November 12, 2015, the 5th meeting of Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC approved the principle of "one corridor with multiple passages", aiming at directly benefiting the socio-economic development of Pakistan, especially the western and north-western regions and providing effective connectivity to Gwadar Port, he added.

The spokesman said the Monographic Study of Transport Plan, approved in the 5th JCC, clearly mentions that Burhan-D.I.Khan-Quetta-Sorab section would provide much needed connectivity between major connection points of CPEC and would connect the western areas of Pakistan.

He said CPEC was for Pakistan as a whole and would bring benefits to all Pakistani people including people from the western parts.

With the joint efforts of both sides, CPEC projects are running well throughout Pakistan, and the CPEC is being comprehensively implemented. He said, CPEC projects in the western parts of Pakistan are making progress. A number of livelihood projects have also been implemented.

"We are committed to join hands with Pakistan to make continuous headway on the CPEC and deliver benefits to the people as early as possible," he added.

http://dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/06-Oct-16/cpec-projects-in-western-parts-of-pakistan-making-progress-china

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia Think Tank Analyst Andy Korybko: #India’s Hatred of #Pakistan Sabotaging North-South Corridor. #CPEC #China
http://katehon.com/article/indias-geopolitical-hate-pakistan-sabotaging-north-south-corridor

Nobody could have expected that India’s Prime Minister would have used the occasion of celebrating his country’s 69th anniversary of independence to provocatively talk about the state of Baloch affairs in Pakistan. Modi went out of his way to say that some members of this ethnic group “thanked [him], have expressed gratitude, and expressed good wishes for [him]…expressed appreciation for Prime Minister of India, for 125 crore countrymen”. This was an obvious suggestion that the Pakistani Baloch have more loyalty to India and identify its citizens – and not Pakistan’s --- as their “countrymen”, which was a premeditated infowar attack meant to incite further discord within the country just a week after a suicide bomber killed dozens of members of this community in a high-profile attack. Modi’s surprisingly aggressive and very clear intimation that he supports Baloch separatism in Pakistan is bound to lead to a problem sooner than later in the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan right next door, which just so happens to host the Indian-financed port of Chabahar that forms the crucial and irreplaceable terminal for the North-South Corridor. This presents a developing threat for Iran and Russia, both of which are depending on stability in and around Chabahar to ensure the long-term strategic viability of the ambitious transcontinental corridor that will eventually connect South Asia with Western Europe by means of their transit territory.


India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), its version of the CIA, has been actively working to destabilize Balochistan for decades, and one of its key operatives was even caught in the region earlier this year and admitted to preparing terrorist attacks there. Despite India’s red-handed involvement in stirring up trouble in the province, New Delhi officially refused to admit that it had anything to do with events there, which makes Modi’s patently obvious appeal to Pakistani Baloch separatists all the more unexpected and totally contradictory to the country’s previous public stance on the issue. It’s unmistakable that the Indian “deep state” (permanent military-intelligence-diplomatic bureaucracy) intends to escalate tensions inside of Pakistan as ‘payback’ for the protests that have been rocking Indian-administered Kashmir for the past month and a half, and the country’s media is all too eager to assist, having gone overboard in their characteristic jingoism by even comparing Balochistan to Bangladesh. Modi and his subservient favor-currying media outlets thereby discredited all legitimate local grievances that the Baloch might have peacefully held against Islamabad, such as complaints about the lack of provincial infrastructure and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) focus on Punjab, but resolving these issues was never India’s intention to begin with.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan PM #NawazSharif rushes to end #energy shortages ahead of 2018 poll. #loadshedding #PMLN http://reut.rs/2dY81Rj via @Reuters


Power supplies are not the only factor that will decide any poll. A further escalation in tensions with nuclear-armed rival India could destabilize the government, as could Islamist militant violence or street protests.

But Sharif has greater control over energy supply, and his government has spent billions of dollars building liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, pipelines and dams, while private investors are financing wind and solar.

A major coal and two small nuclear plants are also due to come online before Sharif's term ends.

The power projects, coinciding with the biggest road building program in Pakistan's history, are central to Sharif's strategy to win the 2018 poll by promoting infrastructure as evidence of economic progress.

Pakistan's sputtering economy has rebounded in recent years, helped by lower global oil prices and improved security.

Chinese companies are arriving in force after Beijing outlined plans in 2014 to invest $46 billion in road, rail and energy infrastructure linking western China with Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast, with two-thirds of the money earmarked for energy.

STALLED REFORMS

The drive to boost generation above 17,000 megawatts (MW) and plug a 6,000 MW deficit has already yielded some results. Shortages in big cities, which two years ago went without power for 12 hours a day, are down to about six hours.

Sharif vowed last month that all scheduled outages would end before the next election, likely to be in May, 2018. His office said generation would hit 26,000 MW, a 3,000 MW surplus.

There are fears, including within Sharif's own ruling PML-N party, that the room for error has shrunk to zero and the ambitious targets could be missed, especially after two big hydro projects were delayed.

"There are a lot of moving parts with all these projects," said one Western diplomat in Islamabad. "The government has a comprehensive plan, but obviously there is some nervousness about the timelines."

Halting outages would breathe fresh life into Pakistan's economy, which needs to expand above 6 percent per year to absorb new entrants into the job market from a fast-growing population of 190 million people.

Economic growth hit 4.7 percent last July-June fiscal year, the fastest pace of expansion since 2008. Economists estimate energy shortages shave up to 2 percent off annual growth.

Some energy experts say Sharif's electricity goals are within reach.

The Asian Development Bank, lending Pakistan more than $1 billion to help alleviate the energy crisis, expects load shedding, or scheduled outages, will be eradicated by mid-2018.

SCARED TO PRIVATIZE?

Sharif's opponents, however, say the government is so fixated on boosting power generation that it has ignored reforms, like privatizing distribution companies, that would modernize the market and lower the cost of electricity.

Many Pakistani businesses complain about the price of power. Lahore barber Eijaz Ahmed, forced to down tools for several hours every day, fumes about spending up to 60 percent of his revenues on electricity.

"I cannot spend money on my children's education because I have to pay (expensive) electricity bills," he said, as his staff sat idle, waiting for power to return.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's 3rd 340 MW #Nuclear Power Plant at #Chashma Goes Into Operation


http://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-chinese-built-nuclear-reactor/3554623.html


Pakistan has connected its new, largely Chinese-built nuclear reactor to the national grid as part of broader plans to overcome long-running crippling power shortages.

The facility is located at Chashma, a town in the central province of Punjab, where China has constructed two other nuclear reactors, known as Chashma-1 and Chashma-2. They went into operation in 2000 and 2011 respectively, supplying 600 megawatts of electricity to the grid.

The so-called Chashma-3 project, with an installed capacity of 340 megawatts, was inaugurated “on trial basis” this past Saturday, according to a spokesman for the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

“After performing various safety and functional tests, the plant will attain full power in first fortnight of December 2016,” Shahid Riaz, told VOA Monday.

Canada helped Pakistan build its first nuclear power plant 44 years ago in the southern port city of Karachi, which Riaz said is currently generating around 80 megawatts of electricity.

Other projects

Pakistan is also constructing another two plants in Karachi with China’s help at a cost of around $10 billion scheduled to be completed by 2021, with a combined capacity of around 2,200 megawatts. Under the agreement, Beijing will also provide enriched uranium for fuel.

Islamabad’s so-called Energy Security Plan envisages a nuclear power production of around 8,800 megawatts by 2030 and 40,000 megawatts by the year 2050.

The deepening nuclear cooperation between the traditionally close allies comes amid reservations that Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which binds member nations to ensure fissile materials are not used for making weapons.

Islamabad dismisses any such concerns.

Pakistan tested nuclear devices in 1998 in response to similar tests by arch-rival India. New Delhi also refuses to sign NPT.

Pakistani authorities maintain that all of their civilian nuclear facilities are under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and the country “voluntarily” observes a moratorium on nuclear testing.

Analysts see growing nuclear cooperation between the two countries as a response to the 2005 commercial deal between the United States and India.

Islamabad has since been unhappy about what it and criticizes it as a discriminatory U.S. approach and has been seeking a similar deal with Washington. Beijing sees the growing U.S.-India nuclear axis as a geopolitical challenge.

Beijing is also investing billions of dollars to build an energy corridor to link Western China and Pakistan’s southern deep-water port of Gwadar in the Arabian Sea. The $46 billion so-called China-Pakistan Energy Corridor (CPEC) will see construction of road and rail networks as well as power projects producing thousands of megawatts of electricity to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s economy: powering ahead with rising investments, improving security & stability. #CPEC @GlobalCapNews http://www.globalcapital.com/article/b100tz98y8qr7q/pakistans-economy-powering-ahead …

A frontier market that was flirting with insolvency just three years ago, is now in rude
health. Investment is flooding into Pakistan from China, the West and the Gulf, attracted by
high returns, rising stability and an economy underpinned by strong growth figures and a
pro­ business government.

Pakistan’s economy is on a tear, growing at its fastest pace since the bubble years of the mid­
2000s. According to projections from the International Monetary Fund, the economy is set to grow
by 5.0% in 2017, up from 4.7% in 2016 and 4.0% in 2015. Emerging markets­ focused investment
bank Renaissance Capital tips gross domestic product to expand by an average of 4.4% a year
over the four years to end­ 2017, against a median of 2.8% over the five years to end­n2013.
At every level, there are signs of marked improvements in one of South Asia’s most vibrant
markets. Global institutions, attracted by the high yields on offer, are snapping up Pakistan
securities listed at home and abroad.
China is pumping billions of dollars into vast infrastructure projects that will open up the country’s
northern borders, allowing locally made goods, from cotton and textiles, to raw and produced food
products, to potash and fertiliser, to be shipped overland, into Central Asia and Russia, and
beyond.
Deepening markets
Pakistan’s efforts to widen and deepen its capital markets, and to foster the creation of an
innovative, knowledge­ based economy, are gaining traction. The country is rapidly becoming a key
provider of niche IT services, with upstart companies in Karachi and Lahore bursting with freelance
software coders, programmers, and application developers. The primary equity capital markets are
returning to action. An initial public offering completed in September by Loads Limited, saw the
auto parts maker raise $20m from local and foreign investors; more stock sales are expected in the
months ahead.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan: #Asia's Next Growth Engine- Nikkei Asian Review. Next11. Young Demographics. Growing Work Force Dividend.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Pakistan-Asia-s-next-growth-engine

despite its troubled image, Pakistan is gradually emerging as an economy with significant growth potential.

It is one of the "Next 11" countries identified as the next emerging forces after BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Pakistan's inclusion is predicated on a population of 190 million, making it the sixth most populous country in the world.

In addition, Pakistan's young population is growing, meaning that it is likely to enter a period of "demographic dividend," in which the percentage of the workforce against total population rises to high levels for the next four to five decades, helping to accelerate economic growth.

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MSCI, a prominent provider of stock indices, announced in June that it will reclassify Pakistan into its Emerging Markets Index from the Frontier Markets Index, having downgraded it in December 2008

Apparently MSCI has a renewed positive view on the country now that it has maintained solid economic growth on the back of continued loans from the International Monetary Fund and falling oil prices, and that its stock market has been on a steady rise.

Provided safety concerns continue to be addressed, Pakistan has the potential to become one of Asia's growth engines.

Riaz Haq said...

Militants return to #Pakistan, hitting #China’s economic plans #CPEC #QuettaAttack

http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/militants-return-to-pakistan-hitting-china-s-economic-plans-1.1918611

Quetta: A militant attack in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province has shattered government claims it has been successful in its fight against terrorism.
Striking along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Quetta, three armed men wearing suicide vests broke into a police academy late on Monday in a deadly assault that has since been claimed by the Daesh via a statement published on its Amaq news agency.
“These attacks are aimed at destabilising Balochistan and to create problems for CPEC, which certain countries don’t want to see as a success story,” said retired Brigadier Asad Munir, a defence analyst who served in Pakistan’s tribal regions.
Pakistan claims to have largely defeated militants who had wrecked the nation’s economy by violent strikes in past two years and killed thousands of people since the South Asian nuclear power joined the US war on terror in 2002.
But such brazen strikes indicate the battle is not over.


“The numbers and the way they were martyred, it has made all efforts of yours and security agencies futile,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told newly graduated police officers in Islamabad hours after the attack.
China’s reaction to the attack was low-key, suggesting its economic projects were not the target of the militant attack.
“It’s unrealistic to expect Pakistan’s domestic security situation to undergo fundamental changes in the near future,” said Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for South Asia Studies at the state-backed Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. “The attack on the police training academy last night was a reflection of Pakistan’s internal security risk; it happened in the province that the CPEC passes, but didn’t target the CPEC.”
China will cautiously push ahead with its projects and provide a boost in support for Pakistan’s military, he said.
The attack on the academy is the second worst in Pakistan this year, since a suicide bomber killed 70 people in Quetta’s government-run hospital in August.
Security authorities blamed Al Qaida-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami for the attack, state-run radio reported citing Balochistan’s paramilitary force chief. By Tuesday afternoon, Daesh claimed responsibility.
The former security chief of Pakistan’s tribal regions, Mahmood Shah, cast doubt on the Daesh claims, saying Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami has a history of attacks in Balochistan and were trained by Al Qaida for urban fighting.
“The government has got to chalk out a new security plan for Quetta, Balochistan as militants keep coming and attacking it,” he said. “You want to have CPEC there and raising just a force isn’t enough.”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who aims to boost country’s economy to 7 per cent before his terms ends in 2018, condemned the attack and expressed concern over the safety of cadets.
Pakistan is banking on China’s $46 billion investment into the corridor that runs from China’s western part to Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan to boost and develop the country’s economy.


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #cement sales up 16% in October on #infrastructure development. #CPEC https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/163071-Cement-sales-up-16pc-in-October-on-infrastructure-development …

Cement sales rose 15.88 percent month-on-month in October due to a rise in infrastructure development in Pakistan; although its exports fell almost two percent in the same month on a declining share in the Afghanistan’s market, industry data showed on Monday.

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) data showed that domestic sales stood at 3.008 million tons in October, while exports were recorded at 0.518 million tons. Total cement dispatches stood at 3.527 million tons, depicting a growth of 12.87 percent month-on-month (MoM).

An association’s spokesperson said the industry’s capacity utilisation logged at more than 92 percent in October.

In October, exports to Afghanistan decreased 23.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 0.193 million tons. Exports to India increased 27 percent YoY to 0.110 million tons in the same month.

Despite Pakistan-India tension, the growth was surprising. The spokesperson, however, said the uptrend might not continue given the unabated border skirmishes.

Cement exports to India are mainly through Wagah border and southern coast of India.

The data showed that cement sales grew 11.26 percent in the first four months (July-Oct) of the 2015/16 fiscal year. Exports also increased 9.57 percent in the same period.

In July-Oct, exports to Afghanistan slid 11.74 percent, while those to India climbed 101.88 percent.

The industry official expressed concern over a sharp rise in coal prices, impacting the cost of production. Coal price, which stood at $54/ton in May, increased to $105/ton.

Manufacturers urged the government to take measures to boost the investment in real estate sector and housing construction.

Currently, the cement industry is mostly depending on infrastructure development projects.

“A sustained growth in housing construction is essential to absorb the additional capacities that would be operational in the next two years,” the official said.

Insight Securities, in one report, said the local cement industry unveiled 23 million tons of expansion plans with around $2.5 billion investment.

Alone Lucky Cement, the country’s leading cement producer, announced to raise its production capacity by 1.25 million tons. A Chinese firm is also mulling to entering the market through a possible acquisition, indicating a jump in output.

The officials said local cement makers are planning an expansion to retain the market share.

The $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, comprising a wide range of infrastructure development, gave a rise to construction activities.

The growth in housing apartment constructions around the country also increased the cement intakes.

Riaz Haq said...

#IMF: #Pakistan's Glass Half Full http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2016/11/10/NA111016-Pakistan-Glass-Half-Full#.WCU4S_84y7U.twitter …

Pakistan: Glass Half Full?
November 10, 2016

Successful program completion points to moment of opportunity
Significant challenges remain ahead
Close partnership to continue through policy dialogue and capacity building
Pakistan’s economy has stabilized from near-crisis circumstances and economic growth has gradually increased under the recently completed three-year economic reform program supported by a $6.15 billion arrangement under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

In an interview, Harald Finger, IMF mission chief for Pakistan, talks about the state of the economy, the challenges ahead, and the next steps for Pakistan.

IMF News : On her recent visit, IMF chief Christine Lagarde spoke about a moment of opportunity for Pakistan. What has Pakistan accomplished over the course of the just completed program, and in what sense is there now such a window of opportunity?

Over the past three years, Pakistan has greatly strengthened the resilience of the economy and began making inroads towards addressing long-standing structural economic challenges. Not everything worked out fully as envisaged, of course, but it is important for us to recognize the program’s achievements. For instance, foreign exchange reserves have tripled, supported by foreign exchange purchases and external borrowing.

The fiscal deficit declined by 2½ percent of GDP (not counting a large payment to clear energy sector arrears just before the program started). This was made possible by removing untargeted energy subsidies that disproportionately benefited the affluent, significantly raising tax revenue through removing exemptions and concessions, and taking a more systematic approach to bringing various economic groups into the tax net.

These measures allowed for an increase in investment spending and social protection. Enrollment in the Benazir Income Support Program has increased by 1½ million families, and stipends were raised by more than 50 percent.

In the energy sector, power outages have gradually decreased and financial performance is strengthening. As a result, accumulation of arrears in the sector has also declined significantly, thereby relieving pressures on the budget. Increased independence of the State Bank of Pakistan has improved the monetary policy framework. A new comprehensive strategy to improve the business climate has been adopted and started to be implemented.

While there have been important achievements, the outlook for economic growth has also turned broadly favorable. Exports and agricultural output have been declining amid a more challenging external environment and appreciating real exchange rate. These are important causes for concern. But private credit growth has been recovering, and strong machinery imports, cement consumption, and gradually rising core inflation also point to firm domestic demand. Moreover, large-scale investment under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is beginning to be implemented.

With the authorities’ accomplishments in strengthening the economy’s resilience and a broadly favorable outlook for growth, the IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, spoke of a moment of opportunity for Pakistan during her recent visit to Islamabad. She emphasized that now is the time for the country to continue its transition toward becoming a full-fledged emerging market by addressing the remaining challenges and implementing policies for higher and more inclusive growth.

Riaz Haq said...

Dangerous Doval Doctrine: #Balochistan vs #Kashmir | Frontline. #India #Pakistan #Modi #BJP http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/balochistan-vs-kashmir/article9373742.ece …

The pursuit of a tit-for-tat diplomacy will not get India anywhere because Balochistan and Kashmir are not on a par, legally and politically. The time has come for India to drop the Baloch card and work for the settlement of Kashmir. By A.G. NOORANI
“PAKISTAN’s vulnerabilities are many times higher than us [sic]. Once they know that India has shifted gear from defensive mode to defensive-offence, they will find that it is unaffordable for them. You may do one Mumbai, you may lose Balochistan,” Ajit Doval, now Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Adviser, said at the 10th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture at Sastra University, Thanjavur, on February 21, 2014. This was three months before he became NSA and the Manmohan Singh government was still in power.

The shock this Doval Doctrine of “defensive-offence” induced precluded any cool analysis of its implications (see the writer’s “The Doval doctrine”, Frontline, November 13, 2015). Doval was advocating a diplomacy of tit for tat with full knowledge of the perils it entailed, not least among them being the risk of matters getting out of hand in the retaliatory ladder of escalation. This becomes apparent when one moves from the doctrine to the specific, Balochistan.

Whoever perpetrated the Mumbai attacks committed a dastardly crime. But at no time did India ever allege that Pakistan’s top leaders were complicit in it. Is it not a wholly disproportionate retaliation to secure the detachment of one of Pakistan’s four provinces? Would its leaders, civil and military, sit back with folded hands when this is being attempted? And the Great Powers in the “Security Council”, especially China, which now has a stake in Balolchistan? And, pray, how does Doval propose to detach Balochistan? By military invasion? Far from it. Our “intelligence commando” has other plans whose elements are no secret. He proposes to do this by fomenting subversion through covert action. He could not possibly have made the claim (“you may lose Balochistan”) unless India had acquired significant “assets” there—as they are called in the idiom of covert operations—over the years. They cannot be acquired instantly. It is these existing assets, acquired, trained and funded over the years, which emboldened Doval to speak as confidently as he did.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi Quietly Okays #Balochistan Specialist's Appointment as Next #RAW Chief to Wage #Terror in #Pakistan http://defencenews.in/article.aspx?id=149455 …

From Indian Defense News dated Dec 5, 2016

Special Director of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) A K Dhasmana is likely to be appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency. The 1981-batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IPS officer’s domain of expertise is considered to be Balochistan, counter-terrorism and Islamic affairs. He also has a vast experience on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has served in key capitals, including London and Frankfurt and has also handled SAARC and Europe desks. The post of the RAW chief is falling vacant on January 31, 2017, with the incumbent retiring after a two-year stint. The RAW chief has a fixed tenure of two years unless the government extends the service length or the appointee. Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Special Director A K Dhasmana is likely to be appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency.

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Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Special Director A K Dhasmana is likely to be appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency. He is considered to be an expert in Balochistan affairs.

In his Independence Day speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “I want to express my gratitude to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK for the way they whole-heartedly thanked me.... People of a distant land I haven’t even seen....When they thank the Indian PM, it’s an honour for the 125 crore people of the country...”

Implicit in the statement was a veiled threat to the Pak political and military leadership that India too can needle them for the state-sponsored atrocities in these areas held by Islamabad and target that country’s unity and integrity. The PM’s statement came in the backdrop of brazen Pak stance to dedicate its Independence Day to freedom of Kashmir and stoking violence in J&K following Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani’s death. This was the first time an Indian PM raised the Balochistan issue.
Dhasmana is also known to enjoy National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s confidence. He will replace present RAW chief Rajinder Khanna.

India has been pussyfooting on human rights violations in Balochistan though Pakistan has been exploiting the ‘K’ word to the hilt at different international fora.
Officials close to Dhasmana said he is a go-getter and has an extensive network in the region. Through his vast experience and elaborate asset base in the region, he was able to stall the construction of Gwadar port by about six years, a senior agency said.

Meanwhile, the race for the top post in another key covert agency Intelligence Bureau (IB) is also gaining pace with the tenure of current Director Dineshwar Sharma ending on December 31. Three contenders—Special Directors SK Sinha and Rajiv Jain and Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Palsalgikar—are in the fray.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2016/dec/03/baloch-specialist-to-helm-raw-1545349.html

Riaz Haq said...

Dr Jean-Francois Di Meglio, President of #Asia Centre in #France: "#CPEC is a game-changer for #Pakistan". #China
https://www.dawn.com/news/1303725/cpec-is-a-game-changer-for-pakistan

KARACHI: China may have more core benefits from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but it’s a game-changer for Pakistan which will also benefit from it. Contrary to what some Europeans think, Pakistan has a strategic position in the region.

This was one of the main points raised by Dr Jean-Francois Di Meglio in his lecture on ‘The Economic, Strategic and Environmental Consequences of the New Silk Roads’ at the Area Study Centre for Europe (ASCE), University of Karachi, on Wednesday.

Dr Di Meglio, who is President, Asia Centre, France, said he was not an expert on CPEC so what he would talk about was based on his experiences. He said his talk was divided in two parts: Europe’s standpoint on the Silk Road project and China’s point of view.

Regarding the first part, Dr Di Meglio said when China announced the project in 2013, Europeans were doubtful about it. They thought since it was a 35-year project nothing could be achieved in the short term. They also thought that China was trying to rejuvenate something that used to exist in the past and there was no point doing it. Some people, however, harboured the notion that it was part of a grand plan. It was innovative because earlier the flow [of goods] was from West to East and now China was trying to reverse the direction of history.

Shedding light on what Silk Road used to be, Dr Di Meglio said in the late 20th century it was just a road but also entailed some key points and strategic places, one of which was the area crossing the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In modern history, he said, two significant events took place. The first was the Great Game between Russia and Britain at the end of the 19th century where Russia had accumulated wealth and wanted access to the sea; the other was the Afghanistan War that resulted in the disintegration of the USSR.

Dr Di Meglio said it was complicated for Europeans to talk about CPEC but countries like Germany and France had shown interest in it. With regard to negative feedback, some Central Asian countries were of the view that Russia was trying to re-establish links with China and the risk was that “China would be too much present”. But the Europeans discarded many important factors, he said.

On the Chinese approach to the situation Dr Di Meglio said [economic] reforms in China started in 1978 and after 35 years, in 2013, they came up with another project. If you looked at the dates, another 35 years added to 2013 would mean the arrival of the year 2048. In 2047 Hong Kong would come back to Chinese sovereignty fully; and 2049 would be the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. He said reforms brought in 1978 came through a simple process: enrichment. If the people were richer they would be easier to manage. The Silk Road had the potential of making some countries marginally richer. That could be done by building infrastructure and by linking them up with China.

Dr Di Meglio said CPEC was not an easy project but was not the most difficult to achieve either. There was room for Pakistani companies and politicians to take the initiative and speak to the Chinese for a level playing field as much as possible. Whosoever was going to benefit more from it, it was a game-changer for Pakistan. He argued that let’s say Pakistan was only benefiting 10 per cent from the project; even then you had other benefits like “influence” and “footprint”. He said some Europeans thought that Pakistan existed because there was a partition in 1947; they did not realise that Pakistan had an important strategic position.

On China’s ambitions, Dr Di Meglio said while it wanted prosperity and stability, it did not want domination in the region. China knew that in the past empires rose and fell. “The way to last long is not to dominate other countries but to play with them.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Opens New 340MW Nuclear Power Plant Built With #China's Help. #CPEC

http://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-nuclear-reactor/3653908.html

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has inaugurated a nuclear power facility built with the assistance of China.

The plant at Chashma, in Pakistan's Punjab province, adds 340 megawatts to the national grid. Beijing has already constructed two other nuclear reactors, with a combined capacity of more than 600 megawatts.

The three power plants at Chashma are known as C-1, C-2 and C-3 respectively. They are are part of broader plans to overcome long-running crippling power shortages in Pakistan.

“The next (nuclear) power projectwith an installed capacity of 340 megawatts, C-4, is also being built here (in Chashma with Chinese assistance). God willing, it will be operational and connected to the national grid in April, 2017,” Sharif told Wednesday’s ceremony.

Pakistan’s current electricity output stands at around 16,000 megawatts, including nuclear power production.

The government plans to increase the power production by about 60 percent, mainly through Chinese-funded coal, gas and hydro-electricity projects under construction to try to boost Sharif’s re-election bid in next polls due in early 2018.

When Sharif took office in 2013Pakistanis were facingcompulsory power outages for up to 12 hours a day, crippling daily life and plunging businesses into darkness.

The prime minister in his speech Wednesday reiterated his election promise to resolve the crisis by the next elections.

Officials say that Chinese experts and engineers had been running the newly-built C-3 plant “on a trial basis” for three months until they formally handed over its control to their Pakistani counterparts Wednesday.

Beijing is also helping Islamabad construct two nuclear power plants in the southern port city of Karachi at a cost of around $10 billion. The projects, with a combined capacity of around 2,200 megawatts, are scheduled to be completed by 2021.

Under the agreement, China will also provide enriched uranium for fuel.

The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) envisages a nuclear power production of around 8,800 megawatts by 2030.

Pakistan built its first nuclear power plant of 137 megawatts at Karachi in 1972 and it is still in operation, though at a much reduced capacity.

China is the only country helping Pakistan build nuclear power plants because Western nations have put a moratorium on the supply of these facilities citing Islamabad’s nuclear weapons program.

Under a multi-billion dollar cooperation agreement, Beijing is also helping Pakistan construct a network of roads, rails, communication and power projects to boostties between the two traditionally close allies.

The bilateral cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plans to link the northwestern Xinjiang region to Pakistani deep-water port of Gwadar Gwadar in the Arabian Sea, providing Beijing the shortest possible access for its imports and exports to international markets.

Riaz Haq said...

#China to Fund 4,000 MW Power Transmission Line in #Pakistan. #CPEC https://thewire.in/90574/china-power-line-pakistan/ … via @thewire_in

State Grid of China will help build a 4,000 MW power transmission line in Pakistan in a project valued at $1.5 billion, Pakistan said on Friday, the latest in a series of Chinese investments in its South Asian neighbour.

The high-capacity transmission line will be the first of its kind in Pakistan and will link Matiari town in the south, near a new power station, to Lahore city in the east, a key link in transmission infrastructure, the Pakistani government said.

An agreement on the project was signed on Thursday in Beijing between Mohammad Younus Dagha, Pakistan’s secretary of water and power, and Shu Yinbiao, chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, the government said in a statement.

Construction will begin in January, and should take about 20 months, said a spokesman for the Pakistani prime minister’s office.

Pakistan has been plagued by a shortage of electricity for years, with widespread rolling blackouts in both rural and urban areas.

The government has managed to reduce load shedding – scheduled power outages – in some areas, but production gaps and distribution woes remain.

The project is the latest in a series of big Chinese investments, most of which fall under a planned $55 billion worth of projects for a China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The corridor is a combination of power and infrastructure projects that link western China to Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar.

Other Chinese investment in Pakistan has included the acquisition of a majority stake by Shanghai Electric of the K-Electric power production and distribution company for $1.8 billion.

Last week, a Chinese-led consortium bought a 40 percent stake of the Pakistan Stock Exchange for an estimated $85 million.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #cement production capacity projected to rise to 72 million tons a year in 2-3 years. #CPEC
http://tribune.com.pk/story/1285619/cement-production-capacity-projected-rise-26m-tons/

Encouraged by consistent domestic demand and government’s focus on a host of infrastructure projects, the cement industry has planned to increase its capacity by 26.25 million tons over the next two to three years to support a smooth growth of the national economy.

Reviewing the six-month performance of the industry, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association Chairman Sayeed Tariq Saigol said sales of the industry rose 8.6% and reached 19.81 million tons in the first half (July-December) of current fiscal year 2016-17.

“The growth trend indicates that in the next two years the current production capacity of 46 million tons will be insufficient to meet domestic demand. The industry is making massive investments to add new capacities,” he said.

He anticipated that the capacity would increase to 72.25 million tons in the next two to three years with additional domestic sales of 26 to 28 million tons.

Saying that cement consumption was considered a strong barometer of economic growth, Saigol asked the government to consider reducing taxes in order to give a boost to cement demand.

He boasted that cement was one of the most technologically advanced industries that had made inroads even into the Indian market despite tariff and non-tariff barriers. “Pakistani industry should also be protected in the same manner,” he said.

In the 2016-17 budget, the government increased taxes on cement from Rs600 to Rs1,000 along with 17% sales tax. The increase would take government revenue on cement sales from the previous Rs2,492 to around Rs3,250 per ton, he said.

According to data released by the association, domestic cement sales grew 11.07% in the first half of current fiscal year compared to dispatches in the same period of previous year. Exports, however, fell 3.53% in July-December 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan announces financing for $1.8bn Suki Kinari #hydropower project. #CPEC #energy
http://www.energy-business-review.com/news/sk-hydro-secures-financing-for-870mw-hydropower-project-in-pakistan-100117-5712743 …

Pakistan has announced financial close for the 870MW Suki Kinari hydropower project, helped by the efforts and facilitation of the country's Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB)

Being built by SK Hydro and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the $1.8bn project is expected to commence power generation by 2022. The project is expected to generate 3081GWh of electricity each year.

The hydro facility is located on River Kunhar, a tributary of River Jhelum, District Mansehra, in the eastern part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa between Naran and Paras towns.

Construction on the project, which is said to be the first hydro independent power project (IPP) under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has already commenced.

Following completion of 30 years of operations, the project will be handed over to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The project’s lenders include Export-Import Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

Power generated from the project will be sold to National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC), under long term power purchase agreement signed earlier.

The sponsors of the project include Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaih Holding Company, China Gezhouba Group Company and Pakistan’s Haseeb Khan.

In April 2015, SK Hydro signed an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China and Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) for 75% of financing costs of the project.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Dismisses Chinese Debt-Trap Concerns

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-29/chinese-debt-trap-concern-dismissed-by-pakistan-as-gdp-quickens

Pakistan is confident of managing its rising debt obligations to China as the world’s second-largest economy boosts investment in the South Asia nation by about 20 percent.

Pakistan will be able to handle repayments of Chinese soft loans to the government and businesses, which are part of a more than $50 billion of projects under the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, Planning and National Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview in the capital, Islamabad.

Rising debt levels in the $271 billion economy, a drop in export earnings and a widening current-account gap have raised concerns about the government’s ability to pay the obligations. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is betting the investment on roads, ports and power plants will boost growth and generate enough revenue to repay borrowings.

“With 6 to 7 percent growth Pakistan will be in a very comfortable position,” Iqbal said. The “bulk of investment coming into CPEC is private sector investment, foreign-direct-investment, so that’s not going to disturb our debt-to-gross domestic product ratio.”

Pakistan’s government debt-to-GDP level is estimated to have risen to 66.1 percent last year from 64.2 percent in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The size of the Chinese-led investment projects has increased to about $55 billion from an initial $46 billion announced in 2015, according to Iqbal. It’s part of an initiative the Chinese government calls “One Belt, One Road” that aims to revive trade across Central Asia and into Europe via a network of railways, ports and highways.

Since coming to power China’s President Xi Jinping has sought to expand trade ties with its neighbors and position the country as an economic and military anchor in the western Pacific. U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a long-planned Pacific trade pact has created a political and economic vacuum that China is eager to fill.

In November, Iqbal, who is heading the investment plans in Pakistan, said about $11 billion of the loans has been allocated to infrastructure projects at about 2 percent with payback in 20 years, along with a five-year grace period. The rest has been earmarked for generating electricity, with about 11,000 megawatts expected to be added by 2018 to end the nation’s chronic power outages.

However, analysts have raised doubts about Pakistan’s ability to finance repayments and repatriations if rising economic growth isn’t sustained and the government fails to reverse a drop in exports.

Despite a decline in oil imports, Pakistan has seen its six-month current account gap widen to 2.2 percent of GDP, or $3.6 billion, according to central bank data. This has been in part caused by increased imports needed for the Chinese projects, according to a BMI Research report this month.

The fall in exports has also added to doubts about Pakistan’s economic stabilization after it completed an International Monetary Fund in September. Overseas shipments fell to $21 billion is the last fiscal year, their lowest since 2010.

Riaz Haq said...

#China investment boosts #Pakistan's economic growth- #CPEC #infrastructure #power #ports #coal Nikkei Asian Review
http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Chinese-investment-boosts-Pakistan-s-economic-growth?page=2

More than $35 billion of the CPEC investment will be allocated to energy projects. Once completed by the end of next year, power generation projects are likely to help Pakistan overcome its crippling power shortages, a major bottleneck for growth. This is a big reason the CPEC is welcomed by many in Pakistan's industry, who say it is going to be a "game changer" for the country.

China also recognizes that the CPEC initiative will help secure the quickest trade route connecting the country's western Xinjiang region and other landlocked areas to the Arabian Sea, which could facilitate economic development in the Chinese hinterland. The infrastructure development initiative will also allow China to mitigate the problem of overcapacity at home by exporting materials and equipment to Pakistan.

There are proposals to develop a power plant, an airport and highways and other facilities particularly around the port of Gwadar on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, which is strategically important for China as it provides the country easy access to the sea.

-----

According to a local newspaper, $700 million of the $1.1 billion spent on CPEC-related projects in the July-September period last year was financed by loans from the China Development Bank. The amount is mainly earmarked for importing materials and equipment from China, which are needed to complete the projects.

Many in Pakistan have voiced concern over the country's rising debt obligations to China. Also, Chinese companies typically bring their own engineers and workers in large numbers to do work in Pakistan.

"Surging imports from China will damage local companies," said Ehsan A. Malik, CEO of the Pakistan Business Council, which represents 62 major companies and organizations. "Tax revenue and employment will not increase." He added, "CPEC may be a Trojan horse."

However, the logic of companies participating in CPEC is very simple. "We asked China, because nobody in the world finances coal projects," said Hussain Dawood, chairman of Dawood Hercules, a large Pakistani conglomerate that includes the Engro group, which is involved in the production of energy and chemicals.

"Investment in CPEC is not only from China," said Arif Habib, CEO of the Arif Habib group. "Companies from Germany, Denmark and Saudi Arabia are also showing interest."

Despite widespread concern about the health of China's economy, Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan's minister of planning and development, said confidently: "The CPEC projects are a high priority for Chinese companies because they can expect good returns. Even though the Chinese economy is slowing down, the companies still have huge cash reserves."

Many Japanese companies also think the best thing to do now is to take advantage of Chinese-built infrastructure in Pakistan to expand their own business. No matter who invested, if energy and infrastructure investment gains momentum, it could stimulate Pakistan's economy.

Amid all the speculation, Pakistan is moving toward its goal of becoming the next big emerging market by gradually shaking off its reputation for terrorism, corruption and political blunders.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Response to Hybrid War on CPEC?
The over 100 Pakistani martyrs who were killed over the past week as part of the joint US-Indian Hybrid War on CPEC don’t need to have their sacrifices be in vain.

By Andrew Korybko - February 17, 2017


http://regionalrapport.com/2017/02/17/pakistans-response-hybrid-war-cpec/

Pakistan was attacked by terrorists over the past five days when eight separate blasts ripped through the country and reminded the world that Islamabad is on the front-lines in the War on Terror. Unlike after the end of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, this time it wasn’t just ‘wayward freedom fighters’ boomeranging back to their home base and setting off a chain reaction of blowback, but dyed-in-the-wool terrorists hell-bent on wreaking as much havoc as possible in order to offset China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Old Tactics for New Reasons

This major contextual difference is attributable to the redefined geostrategic significance of South Asia across the past couple of years. The CPEC has become the driver of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) global vision of New Silk Road connectivity and the poster project for the emerging Multipolar World Order, thus making Pakistan the “Zipper of Pan-Eurasian Integration” at the “Convergence of Civilizations”.

The US and its unipolar allies such as India have a completely different conception for how the future should look, and are dead-set opposed to CPEC for the simple reason that it would undermine their hegemonic ambitions. Instead of joining the project and contributing to a win-win solution for all of Eurasia, Washington and New Delhi have decided to sabotage CPEC out of the pursuit of their own subjectively defined self-interests.

Pursuant to this goal, both actors utilize Afghan-based terrorists in order to destabilize Pakistan, understanding that this can in turn reduce the attractiveness of CPEC to international investors and partners. The thinking goes that if high-profile terrorist attacks capture the global media’s attention, they’ll inevitably succeed in leading the worldwide audience to once more inaccurately conflating Pakistan with instability, which in turn feeds speculation and thus creates a dire risk for the business vitality of CPEC.

Riaz Haq said...

#UN Security Council Endorses #CPEC (#Pakistan) and #China's #OBOR projects. #India unhappy. # via @htTweets

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/un-security-council-resolution-includes-china-s-bri-india-s-pok-claims-in-jeopardy/story-k6isroFAMdnlA6NtX4nPKN.html


A UN Security Council resolution has for the first time incorporated China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a multi-billion inter-continental connectivity mission that has a flagship project passing through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The resolution, which extends an ongoing UN assistance mission to Afghanistan, says international efforts should be strengthened to implement the BRI, President Xi Jinping’s legacy project about which he first spoke in 2013.

Beijing claims it has rounded up at least 100 countries in BRI’s support, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

India is yet to sign up for the initiative. Foreign secretary S Jaishankar spelt it out to the Chinese government in February that India has a “sovereignty” issue with the BRI because its flagship project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through PoK. According to diplomats, India endorsing the BRI would mean giving up its claims on PoK.

The UN endorsing the BRI could complicate the situation as far as India’s claims are concerned.

The resolution in question renewed the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan for one year. In it, the 15-nation UN body urged to promote security and stability in Afghanistan and the region “to create a community of shared future for mankind”.

“Also included in the newly adopted council resolution was China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes,” official news agency Xinhua reported.

The resolution “welcomes and urges further efforts to strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit, including through regional development initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) Initiative”.

The council resolution urged “further international efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and implement the Belt and Road Initiative”.

Besides the BRI, the resolution also mentions other projects like “regional development projects, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project, the Chabahar port project agreed between Afghanistan, India and the Islamic Republic of lran”.

China has taken the inclusion of BRI in a UN resolution as a diplomatic victory of sorts.