'Usually cited as an example of trusted friends



Aug 29 - Sep 04, 2005


The most significant aspect of the close friendship between Pakistan and China, irrespective to the economic benefits on the either side, is that the two countries never betrayed even at some crucial moments. This immaculate trust is something, which can not be overestimated.

Though China has played an important role in providing technical support to put our economy on sound footings, yet as the saying goes much wants more, much is still left to be desired as far as the close relationship are concerned between the two countries.

On the back of the economic growth taking place in China, one may rightfully think that despite growing role of China in building up the economy in Pakistan, it does not translate the actual economic strength of China. However it also required the appetite and thirst of an economy to ask for the economic support especially in the field of transfer of technology.

Currently, over 31 Chinese Companies are engaged in the field of oil and gas exploration, information technology, telecom sector, Nuclear, Hydro and coal based power generation, Engineering, automobile, Infrastructure and Mining sector.

In the financial sector, the coordination among the two countries is almost nominal, and lately there was a move to establish private sector banks both in China and Pakistan for financing services to the growing volumes of the trade between the two countries.

Apart from economic ties between the two countries, the growing bilateral relations have provided a strong peg to the foreign policy especially for peace in the region. The two countries have a wavelength to address dramatic changes at regional global arena. In fact, today's world is the world of competition, which allows surviving only to the fittest. In order to face the challenges of the global scenario especially after the implementation of WTO, China has adopted wonderful policy of tolerance towards capitalism, as it did not

Interfere in the economic policies of Hong Kong and did not prove adamant for adopting any positive economic changes in the system of that country. This is why the economy is growing day by day and China has become the 6th largest economy of the world. The story of success goes back to last 25 years since then it is rebuilding and upgradit6ing the economic system and framework to function more compatibly in the region and at the world forum.

Though China and Pakistan have achieved quite fruitful results of their cooperation as resultantly, several Chinese companies started some 218 projects in Pakistan with a total contract value of $4.123 billion out of which 161 have already been completed and a large number projects are under the pipeline.

The most strategic projects like Chasma-II, Gwadar deep city port, gasification for power generation at Thar coal fields, Copper and Zinc mines and the Gomal Zamdam are some of the valuable projects which may address the most trying energy issues for Pakistan.

Early Harvest Program, is yet another significant move between China and Pakistan which would help Pakistan to increase exports and on 767 items all tariff bring at zero rated.

With the opportunity of China's significant success in launching of special economic zone, Pakistan too can gain much from Chinese experience.

It may be mentioned that initially china had set up four special economic zones i.e. Shen Zhen, Shantau, Xiamen, Zhuhai with 13 open coastal cities. These special economic zones have been successful in attracting investors due to easy access of information with greater foreign connection.

A large number of Hong Kong entrepreneurs relocated their production facility to these zones and surely these industries in the South of China will provide employment to five million people. It is also predicted that China will be called as the "factory of the world". Unlike, China, the export processing zone e in Karachi is almost at the verse of collapse, if no immediate attention was paid to adopt that new policies, law and strategies were adopted, we should forget about the zone.

The Karachi export-processing zone was established a decade ago with all facilities available elsewhere in the world. However, it was the inefficient, lethargic and poor administration, which convert the zone as a smuggling den. Duty free imports allowed for the zone are frequently sneaked into the tariff area and the so-called Pakistani investors are minting money, obviously not without connivance of the people at the helm of affairs in the zone. We have to apply the Chinese strategy to make the zone a success and may be given to China on contract to make it a commercially viable project.

Despite of the snail pace growth and passive policies, it is a matter of luck that China has recently shown interest in setting up an oil refinery and a steel mill in Punjab and mining marble and granite in NWFP besides and oil and gas exploration activities in Pakistan.

Though Chinese have assured Pakistan that development of relationship with other south Asian countries would never be a detrimental to its relations with Pakistan, the fact remains that today's policy makers of China are not the generation of cold war era. The flood of Chinese products in international markets all around the world reflects China's preferential policy of trade and economic benefits over the social, ethical and moral concerns.