CPEC enters next phase of development

In this file photo, Chinese worker stands near trucks carrying goods during the opening of a trade project in Gwadar port, some 700 km west of the Pakistani city of Karachi on Nov. 13, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2018

CPEC enters next phase of development

  • The best of CPEC is yet to come, says Sen. Mushahid Hussain
  • The two sides agree to focus on new Gwadar airport, socioeconomic development

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and Beijing on Thursday decided to prioritize the conclusion of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that are associated with Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, ahead of a Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) session scheduled tentatively for the first week of December in Beijing.
The JCC is CPEC’s lead policymaker. Seven ministerial sessions of the committee have been held since the project’s inception.
The two sides agreed to focus on the new Gwadar international airport, socioeconomic development, a hospital, and professional and technical institutes.      
Pakistan has emphasized improvement of its railways, special economic zones and third-country participation, which will be discussed at the eighth JCC meeting.
Sen. Mushahid Hussain, chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute, told Arab News: “The best of CPEC is yet to come. Total outlay as of now is $61 billion, which is the single biggest bilateral project between two countries since World War II.”
He said: “The next phase of CPEC includes agriculture, culture, tourism, information technology, education and youth exchanges.”
Li Xiguang, director of China’s Tsinghua University, told Arab News that if both governments negotiate a mutually beneficial deal on Pakistani agricultural exports, especially cotton and sticky rice, “that would sell very well in China and fetch a high price.”      
Li praised soil quality across the four provinces of Pakistan, whose agriculture sector makes up to 20 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and has attracted Chinese entrepreneurs seeking land for farming since CPEC’s inception.
Hussain said: “You’re looking at job creation, manufacturing, and a better tomorrow for our people.”

UN adopts global migration pact rejected by US and others

Updated 1 min 16 sec ago

UN adopts global migration pact rejected by US and others

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said developed nations needed migration
  • Ten countries, mostly in formerly Communist Eastern Europe, have pulled out

MARRAKESH, Morocco: The United Nations on Monday adopted a deal aimed at improving the way the world copes with rising migration, but almost 30 countries stayed away from the ceremony in Morocco.

The pact, meant to foster cooperation on migration, was agreed in July by all 193 UN members except the US, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting on Monday.

Ten countries, mostly in formerly Communist Eastern Europe, have pulled out. Six more, among them Israel and Bulgaria, are debating whether to quit, a UN spokesman said after the pact was adopted. He did not say whether the rest of the countries absent from the conference in Marrakesh might also pull out.

With a record 21.3 million refugees globally, the UN began work on the non-binding pact after more than 1 million people arrived in Europe in 2015, many fleeing civil war in Syria and poverty in Africa.

But President Donald Trump’s administration said the global approach to the issue was not compatible with US sovereignty.

Since July, the accord, which addresses issues such as how to protect migrants, integrate them and send them home, has been criticized by mostly right-wing European politicians who say it could increase immigration from African and Arab countries.

Angela Merkel, accused by critics of worsening the refugee crisis by opening Germany’s borders in 2015, said cooperation was the only answer to tackle the world’s problems.

“The pact is worth fighting for,” the German chancellor, one of around a dozen national leaders in Marrakesh, told the forum. “It’s about time that we finally tackle migration together.”

Without naming Trump or his “America First” stance, she said multilateralism was the way “to make the world a better place.” 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said developed nations needed migration.

“In the many places where fertility is declining and life expectancy is rising, economies will stagnate and people will suffer without migration,” he said in his opening address.

On Sunday, Chile withdraw from the pact, while Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel saw the biggest party in his coalition quit in a dispute over the accord.

In November, Austria’s right-wing government, which holds the EU presidency, said it would withdraw, saying the pact would blur the line between legal and illegal migration.

Australia said it would not sign up to a deal it said would compromise its hard-line immigration policy.