March 26, 2023 2:29 pm

The China-Pakistan Financial Corridor (CPEC) is facing considerable troubles. Numerous projects are either getting delayed or place on hold, and Chinese investors are reluctant to fund new projects in Pakistan due to the country’s faltering economy, according to Di Valerio Fabbri in Geopolitica.information.

Islamabad is reportedly burdened with unprecedented debt stress and is on the verge of going bankrupt. Beijing is also not happy with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) strict circumstances for the resumption of the $six billion bailout package plan, which could possibly make Pakistan’s financial troubles worse and draw scrutiny to Chinese loans.

According to Fabri citing IMF information, China holds around $30 billion of Pakistan’s total external foreign debt of $126 billion. “In spite of producing a number of attempts to full delayed projects and initiate new ones, CPEC’s future appears bleak due to Pakistan’s struggling economy and China’s apparent reluctance to offer new economic help,” stated Fabbri.

The CPEC was launched in 2013 with an initial spending budget of $62 billion. Due to CPEC project delays triggered by Islamabad’s bureaucratic corruption, internal squabbling, and improved safety dangers in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh more than the previous ten years, China has discontinued offering Pakistan with a constant provide of funds.

According to a news report in Geopolitica.information., “The longstanding friendship amongst Pakistan and China is now beneath considerable strain. The common delays in CPEC projects and resulting economic losses for Chinese investors have not been nicely received in Beijing.”

Notably, while China and Pakistan have a “strategic” connection, Beijing has specific limitations when it comes to handling the economic losses associated to the CPEC projects. According to some observers, the underlying notion of CPEC was flawed considering that it assumed that Pakistan’s infrastructure, such as its roads, bridges, and electrical energy, would be adequate to spur financial development and employment. It is worth mentioning that Pakistani workers have purposefully been excluded from the preparing and engineering phases of considerable CPEC projects.

According to reports, China has not permitted complete transparency on its economic loans to Pakistan, as there is no open-supply information obtainable on the terms and circumstances of CPEC loans. Stress has been imposed on Pakistan umpteen occasions by international economic institutions like the IMF and nations like the US to offer open-supply information obtainable on the terms and circumstances of CPEC loans.

On the other hand, Beijing has told Islamabad to stay shut on this matter as it may well produce severe opposition against CPEC inside Pakistan and may well jeopardise its future.

Published: March 17, 2023 08:04 IST

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