Economic problems should not slowdown CPEC

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—ICST chief says other countries should be allowed to participate in the project

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday said that economic problems should not be allowed to hit the fate-changing project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China and Pakistan should expedite work on the project so that it could be completed well in time, while other countries should also be allowed to participate in the project, it said.

Enemy countries are trying their best to damage the project while their agents in Pakistan, who have damaged many mega projects, are conspiring against CPEC, said ICST patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that the government must take note of the situation and forge consensus on the project to get it completed which will allow masses to reap the fruits of the multibillion-dollar initiative.

Butt said that “we are not short of elements who have played a central role in damaging mega projects in past to keep the country underdeveloped and destabilized”. Pakistan and China have agreed to devise a mechanism to grant permission to other countries’ involvement into different projects under CPEC which is laudable, he added.

The ICST chief said that CPEC is going to open up linkages for landlocked countries especially up to Central Asian Republics, adding that Pakistan possessed golden opportunity to become part of global supply chain.

Pakistan was making efforts to establish nine special economic zones (SEZs) but extra caution is needed as the success rate of SEZs was just standing at 23 per cent keeping in view the international experience. He asked the government to overcome balance of payment crisis and make efforts to learn from Chinese experience to jack up its share in global trade by adopting enabling policies.

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