Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig (Economist):
The decision of the government to set up a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority to upgrade the existing structure for speedy and focused execution of the projects is a positive move. The decision will be further strengthening the confidence of Chinese investor and it was a long awaited decision. Many Chinese companies are willing to invest in Pakistan and to investing $5 billion in the country in the next three to five years. The investment will be made in various small and medium-sized industrial sectors. We must avail the opportunity of foreign direct investment in different projects in Pakistan. There must be business-to-business interactions between China and Pakistan. This will provide a platform for regular consultation between the government and business community on matters related to private sector investments and push forward industrial cooperation under CPEC.
Dr. Huma Baqai (IR Expert):
The Prime Minister Imran Khan is determined to eradicate poverty from Pakistan on coming to power by following the Chinese model. The government must introduce policies that will be in favor of the poor and will uplift them. The incumbent government wants to diversify CPEC in terms of foreign direct investment in the country. The special economic zones established under CPEC are expected to attract foreign direct investment in the country. Foreign Direct investment is important for economic growth of any country and Pakistan needs to attract more offshore investors to come here and invest different sectors.
Dr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan (IR Expert):
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is game changer project. In the first phase, the focus of the government was on infrastructure and overcoming energy crises. The government managed to overcome energy crises to a great extent. The present government is focusing on a number of segments to stabilize the economy including tourism, agriculture and others. Special attention is being paid to improve industrial sector in order to improve the exports. The incumbent government is committed to accelerating the progress of China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and has set timelines for authorities concerned to resolve all the pending issues related to the projects.
Hamayun Iqbal Shami (Chairman, Pakistan Economic Forum):
The 18th Amendment provides the provinces with strong legislative and financial autonomy. The government has decided to establish CPEC Authority to upgrade the existing structure for speedy and focused execution of the projects. The TORs are still to be finalized and after that we will be able to observe the responsibilities of provinces and the federal government in this regard. China is determined for expanding the scope of CPEC by including socio-economic and agriculture sector development under its platform.
Dr. Noor Fatima (Economist):
The role of media in highlighting the importance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project is vital as it is a flagship program for the future of our country. Many countries are willing to be part of this mega project. This project should not be politicized as it is a national project that will have a positive impact on the economy of our country. Pakistan is rightly focusing on attracting foreign investment under CPEC as it is a big opportunity for stabilization of the economy. The debt should be hard money but the previous government utilized it as an aid. The government should also focus on training for productive and skilled labors.