KARACHI - CPEC provides perfect opportunity to bring advance manufacturing and production capacity enhancement to Pakistan. CPEC has already created 30,000 jobs in its early stages and we need to train more Pakistanis for millions of jobs to be created. This was stated by Senator Sherry Rehman speaking at the second day of CPEC Summit 2018 in Karachi on Tuesday.

“As first ship docked at Gwadar Port in March 2018 CPEC started creating impact on all provinces and it is probably among the few things about which whole Pakistan share same sentiments despite internal differences and want the project to succeed for Pakistan’s prosperity,” she added. Sherry Rehman said that those who have doubts about CPEC should look closely and perhaps get involved as a stakeholder as CPEC is there to benefit everyone.

She termed this century as Asian century saying that she expects biggest opportunities in coming decades.

“Going forward, CPEC is most important thing for Pakistan and the next government has to take all the factors in account to ensure smooth management and strategically address all challenges like e-transactions and debt payment,” said Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair.

He said that CPEC is not at the cost of economic relations with America or Europe as it also provides opportunities to rest of the world in addition to China and Pakistan.

The governor said it was heartening that national cohesion was depicted by the representation of all provinces and different sectors in the CPEC Summit 2018 which has shed light not only at the benefits of CPEC but challenges it may pose and also suggested solutions.

“The time has come for China to take center stage on issues like peace in the Korean peninsula, social, environmental and economic issues in the region and they would find it’s friend Pakistan standing beside them,”

“We see China as Pakistan’s best friend that’s why Pakistan is the only country which supports the core interest, i.e. unity and territorial integrity, of China without any reservation,” he added.

“SMEs in China are going to relocate to other countries out of China and Pakistan’s SEZs will have a great opportunity in it. It is the time of elections and our Chinese friends demand political stability and continuation of policies hence we have to ensure free and fair elections,” said Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Pakistan China Institute.

“30 percent globalisation is fuelled by Chinese economic growth and OBOR is the biggest project on 21st century of which we have already started seeing transformational chnages but the best is yet to come,” he added.

Chinese delegation attending the summit said that during 1980s per capita income of China stood at US $ 190 whereas Pakistan was faring much better at US$ 240. However, China turned that around by adopting their open policy and now their per capita income is over US $ 9000 while Pakistan has made slow progress to increase it to US$ 1600 only in almost 40 years.

“We want our brother country not to fall too much behind and to step up in the progress and we would help Pakistan on every step of the way to prosperity,” stressed the speakers.

Chinese delegation also expressed their love for Urdu language and how China is trying to overcome language barriers. “Only one or two universities were teaching Urdu in China before CPEC and now over 10 universities are teaching Urdu language,” said the speakers.

Babar Badat, President, FIATA - International Federation of Logistics Associations, chaired the session on logistics where Tariq Rangoonwala – Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce – PNC; Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar – Chairman, Karachi Port Trust; Asad Rafi Chandna – Acting Chairman, Port Qasim Port Authority; Zhang Baozhong – Chairman, China Overseas Port Holding Co. Gwadar Port and Ali Jameel – Chief Executive, TPL Corp. among others shared their views.

“China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will boost opportunities in logistics business manifolds as millions of containers are expected to move cargo from Gwadar/Sust to China annually,” said Ali Jameel, CEO TPL Corp while addressing CPEC Summit 2018 here in Karachi.

“Container tracking will play a pivotal role in logistics related to CPEC not only to ensure that no pilferages happen but also to ensure safety of cargo and drivers by monitoring their driving behavior and fatigue levels,” he added.

He said that technology can help monitor if vehicles deviate from their prescribed routes or make an unusual or unplanned stop, the container door is opened, drivers’ driving behavior with regards to safety and his fatigue levels while ensuring mandatory rest and also enable drivers to raise SoS in emergencies.

Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar – Chairman, Karachi Port Trust said that CPEC provides Pakistan an opportunity to become logistical hub/ supply chain for South, Central & Western Asia, Middle East and Western China and CPEC can be used as a stepping stone for boosting Global Competitiveness.

He said that the success of CPEC is dependent upon the safe/secure environment, transportation, facilities and logistical integration and Karachi Port is the important link to synergize activities for overall success of CPEC. “Keeping Karachi Port out of the integrated supply chain of CPEC, will not auger well for the overall initiative,” he added.

Energy experts including Shakil Durrani – Former Chairman WAPDA, Iqbal Z Ahmed – Chairman, Associated Group,Shah Jahan Mirza, Managing Director Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Cai Din – Chief Executive Officer, China Power and Shamsuddin A. Shaikh – CEO, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company said that availability of sufficient energy is crucial for industries along with infrastructure to remain competitive. They said that Thar Coal project is central to solve energy woes of Pakistan while alternate energy projects relating to CPEC will play a crucial role to help meet country’s energy demand.

Speakers also stressed on the up-gradation and expansion of transmission lines while also taking steps to improve recovery of dues by distribution companies, failure of which will result in exponential rise of circular debt, specially once the new power generation project come online and demand of energy increases. It was also discussed to provide free electricity to the citizens who consume up to 60 units of electricity a month as they opined that the cost to recover bills from such consumers is much more than the amount to recover.

Experts in the session regarding environment stressed upon environmental opportunities and challenges raised by the CPEC and specifically focused on the role of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN’s) role in the BRI, as well as the broader issue of mainstreaming biodiversity in the CPEC, and managing the needs of development with those of ensuring sustainable development.