South Asia and Beyond

CPEC: Hype Vs Reality

Pakistan appears to be scaling down its expectations from CPEC with respect to adding more projects. An analysis on the online portal ‘Modern Diplomacy’ notes that China has so far not reacted to Pakistan’s request for the $6.8 billion required for the Peshawar-Karachi railway line. Islamabad wants concessionary loans at 1 per cent interest but China so far has only indicated a mix of commercial and concessionary loans along with guarantees from Pakistan.

Under CPEC, so far 17 projects worth around $13 billion have been completed while 21 other projects worth $12 billion are in various stages of implementation. But Islamabad is concerned that no Chinese investor has shown interest in setting up units in the special economic zones.

The report says CPEC is seen to lack direction with agencies involved lacking coordination. There is also the view that CPEC has failed to benefit the Pakistani economy in the way it was envisaged.