*Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: [email protected]). *
Asia means 60 percent of the world’s population, which is almost 4.7 Billion. It is the house of the four largest populated countries of the world named: China with 1.4 Billion, India with 1.3 Billion, Indonesia with 275 Million, and Pakistan with 250 million. It is the largest of all continents, comprising almost 44,579,000 km2, or 30% of the whole world's land.
Although Asia is rich in the workforce, but lack quality and well-trained human resource. The high-end workforce is yet to be trained and developed. Asia is rich in natural resources, either oil, gas, minerals, mines, agriculture, or various raw materials required for rapid development. Yet, its economic contribution to the rest of the world is still much less. Asia’s GDP (PPP) is $72.7 trillion (2022 estimated), GDP nominal) $39 trillion (2022 estimated), and a GDP per capita of $8,890 (2022 estimated).
The Chinese economy is the fastest-growing economy in the world and has already achieved the status of the second-largest global economy. The rise of China has had an immense impact on the global economy, especially on the Asian economy. The Mega initiative of Development by China BRI is a major cause of the overall development of Asia.
Under BRI, China is heavily investing in Asian countries in the development of infrastructure, which leads to the acceleration of economic activities and ultimately impacting on their national economy. Due to better infrastructure, connectivity among nations has improved, and people-to-people contact and transportation of goods have enhanced.
BRI has been instrumental in the enhancement of trade among nations and improved the living conditions of many people in Asia. China has money, capacity, and a strong will to improve Asian developments. Many nations in Asia are directly benefiting from the Chinese rise.
Pakistan being the closest friendly nation to China is one of the largest beneficiaries of the Chinese development initiative of BRI. China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of BRI and is in the most advanced stage of its execution.
The initial focus of BRI/ CPEC in Pakistan was Energy, Infrastructure, and Social sector. To date 12 Power projects have been completed, 4 are under execution and several are either planning stage or in the pipeline. 11 Projects of Infrastructure have been completed, 8 are in pipeline, and 5 are long-term projects. Gwadar being the pivot of CPEC, has already completed 4 projects, but 6 are under various stages of execution, whereas 4 are in the pipeline.
Industrial cooperation is a high priority, Special Economic Zones are being established, Chinese Industry is being shifted to Pakistan, and Industrial parts are under execution.
In Socio-Economic Sector 5 Projects have been completed, whereas 12 are under the execution stage and many more are in the pipeline.
The socio-Economic fruits of the CPEC projects are already visible and the people of Pakistan are direct or indirect beneficiaries. It has created a job market, promoted business activities, eased the transportation of passengers and cargo, and improved the living standard of many people. CPEC has been a major contributor to Pakistan's national economy and plays the role of Oxygen to the ailing economy.
The recent visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to China has reaffirmed the long understanding between the two nations and has expanded the collaboration and cooperation in all dimensions. The CPEC will further expand and accelerate, and the scope and quality will be upgraded in the days to come. Both Governments are in complete harmony and the two nations are consensus-based moving rapidly to achieve high-quality developments.
Most Asian countries are the beneficiary of Chinese developments and have improved their economies with Chinese collaboration. Chinese investments and projects based on the win-win principle are very attractive and carry no hidden or extra baggage or conditions. The major attraction for collaboration is no political conditions. China never imposes or dictates its political terms and conditions on partner countries. Instead, it promotes the noble approach of a “shared future” or “shared destiny”.
It is the time of the Asian century, and under the leadership of China, the whole of Asia will rise, by exploiting the true potential of its natural resources, and workforce and unitedly developing. The rise of China has emerged as a role model for the rest of Asia and the day is not far away when Asia will surpass the rest of the world.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)