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‘Pakistan needs improved GDP growth to get CPEC benefits’

Islamabad: Former Finance Minister Dr Salman Shah has said that Pakistani establishment and political parties agreed that the country required improved GDP growth to reap huge benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“Pakistan will have to improve its governance after which the size of the economy could touch $700 to $1000 billion by 2025 from existing size of $300 billion with the help of fate changer CPEC,” Dr Salman Shah, who is also under consideration for incoming caretaker setup, told the participants at a function organised by Switzerland Ambassador at Swiss Embassy on Tuesday night.
Dr Shah told the diplomatic corps belonging to European and other countries that the trade volume could touch $700 billion, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to $50 billion with 50 percent coming from China by 2025. He went on saying that several thousand agreements between govt to govt and government to business as well as business to business must have signed and 500 manufacturing joint ventures between Pakistan, MNCs and China over the next one decade.
He said that 25 million new jobs could be created with this activity under the CPEC. He said that Pakistan would become hub of economic activities in Asia and many countries including European could get benefits.
He said that Pakistan will have to transform its different sectors of the economy to reap the benefits lying owing to CPEC. The CPEC has become global from which our region including Afghanistan and some states of India can also get benefits.
He said the size of agriculture economy stood at $50 billion in Pakistan and by adapting technology and efficient use of water it could go up to $300 billion. He said that Pakistan would have to construct water storages as history of last three to four hundred years informed us that without water availability there was no light and prosperity.
To a query about the possibility of the choking growth in case Islamabad approaches the IMF for seeking another bailout package, he said that the IMF would not choke our growth. The CPEC is reality and one likes it or not it will happen, he added.
To another question regarding slowdown of CPEC projects including ML-1, he said that the scope of the project was enhanced from $2.4 billion to $8.2 billion so it was halted for another review but all this projects would become reality.
Regarding consensus on key economic reforms, he said that there were some contentious issues like privatization but the establishment and political parties agreed that the country required higher growth and it could be achieved with consensus and stability.
“The military and judiciary has special focus on improving governance and making appointments on merit,” he said and added that it would help the country for improving governance structure of the country.
On this occasion, Farhat Ali, President Swiss Business Council said that they were making efforts to promote bilateral trade ties and six SMEs are going to come into Pakistan very soon. He said the CPEC possessed opportunities for European and other companies.
Source: The News