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CPEC — poverty alleviation

SINCE the inception of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project under the Belt & Road (B&R) initiative and a lot of work have already been done. Out of 22 big and small projects, 11 have been completed while work on the rest is underway. Although CPEC and B&R is the Chinese initiative, yet aims at collective prosperity of the entire region. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Phase II between Pakistan and China has already been signed besides other important agreements related to CPEC. In spite of a lot of criticism by Opposition both the countries are much better positioned and the partnership between the two is growing. Obviously lot of job opportunities are expected to generate due to FTA but need to be optimal utilization of job opportunities from these generated through CPEC and it allied projects. For maximum utilization, it is necessary to enhance the skill and productivity of Pakistani labour force.

Recently three small steel mills have been taken over by the Chinese and it is strange to note that all employees are replaced with Chinese nationals except required to deal with the public. It is a point of concern, it needs careful analysis to find out the reasons. Is it due to the non-availability of the skilled workforce or any other reason? If so, then our concerned ministry/departments should take immediate action to enhance the skills of labour up to the level required and leaving no excuse for Chinese and others to bring manpower from outside. I hope that Pakistani concerned ministry/department would have done homework on what types of job opportunities will be generated as a result of CPEC and its allied projects. Pakistan needs to provide employment to the youth and other unemployed to restrict and eliminate poverty, for that employment is the major instrument. Pakistan’s concerned authorities must be vigilant and should have a comprehensive follow-up program to avail maximum benefit from these projects otherwise the already poverty alleviation program like Ehsas will lose its effectiveness.

Under the CPEC’s industrial cooperation, out of nine Special Economic Zones (SEZ) the work on Rashakai has been initiated and 20 factories would be set up initially. According to original plan employment in the SEZs would be given to the local people and the latest technology would be transferred from China to Pakistan. Are local person are being trained to take over the jobs or again manpower will be imported from outside with the excuse of not having the required skill? There are six areas in the social sector, including education, health, agriculture, water & irrigation, and poverty alleviation in which around 26 new projects will be initiated in Pakistan. Under the social sector cooperation of CPEC two model villages would be built in Pakistan under CPEC to uplift the living standard of low-income segments of the society but that need sustainability in the income of people which can be ensured by providing employment.

A comprehensive transportation package is also prepared. The economic corridor is considered central to China–Pakistan relations and will run about 2700 km from Gwadar to Kashgar. CPEC is intended to rapidly modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones. A vast network of highways and railways are to be built under the aegis of CPEC that will span the length and breadth of Pakistan. Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia. A 1,100-kilometre long motorway will be built between the cities of Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC, while the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled.

The Karachi–Peshawar main railway line will also be upgraded to allow for train travel at up to 160 km per hour. Pakistan’s railway network will also be extended to eventually connect to China’s Southern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar. Over $33 billion worth of energy infrastructure are to be constructed by private consortia to help alleviate Pakistan’s chronic energy shortage, which regularly amount to over 4,500MW. A network of pipelines to transport liquefied natural gas and oil will also be laid as part of the project, including a $2.5 billion pipeline between Gwadar and Nawabshah to eventually transport gas from Iran. Heavy construction activities are expected in result of these interventions and local trained workforce in these sectors would be largely required. It is time to work out the estimated required manpower and skill levels for these projects.

It is pertinent to mention that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has also been signed on the occasion between All Pakistan China Entrepreneurs Association (APCEA) and National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) to provide skilled workforce to Chinese companies engaged in various projects in Pakistan. The Chairman of NAVTTC assured to provide all the required skilled labour for their projects. But it needs hard work and to associate the Chinese professional to ensure the skill level required to them otherwise I have doubt the repetition of Steel Mills instance.

In the South Asian region, Pakistan’s position in trained manpower is fairly weak. Development of Pakistan’s enormous human potential requires a shift in national priorities, and a greater share of the country’s financial resources to the technical education and vocational and technical training. Pakistan must create conditions and environment necessary for creativity and innovation essential for moving into and being competitive in the knowledge-based industries, which will provide the highest value-addition for the economy. This will require training of various technical skills in Pakistan preferably priority to require for CPEC projects. The formal institutions produce a very small proportion of the total increments to the skilled workforce and not necessarily in accordance with the demand and of the requisite quality. Hence a high tech Vocational Training Institutes keeping in view the future requirements under CPEC needs to be established.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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How Solar Can Power China’s Belt And Road Trade Ambitions

Investment in solar and cross-border power networks in the nations covered by China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) could help them leapfrog fossil fuels.

Those are the conclusions in a new study from Tsinghua University and Harvard University.

The Belt in the BRI represents the Silk Road Economic Belt loosely based on the ancient Silk Road, from Asia to Europe. The Road refers to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that connects China to South East Asia, South Asia and on to North Africa. Its initial focus has been centred on power, transport, education and steel.

Researchers assessed the solar potential of BRI nations discounting agricultural and forestry land. They found that if just 4% of the remaining low-value and unshaded land was given over to PV projects, the entire electricity demand of the BRI region could be met by 2030.

As the economies of BRI nations continue to develop and infrastructure projects and industrial activity ramp up, the demand for electricity will rise sharply.

“If we continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy, it can add significantly more CO2 to the atmosphere, not just this year, but for the next few decades,” said co-author Xi Lu from Tsinghua University. “This is not sustainable. If we want to achieve the emission reduction goal set by the Paris Agreement, we need renewable energy.”

The scope of the study spanned 66 countries with geographical connections. By adding in the expansion of distribution across borders, the researchers hope to address one key imbalance. They found that nations with 70.7% of the solar potential are responsible for 30.1% of the regional power demand.

“It would be challenging because different countries have different priorities when it comes to development,” Lu says. “But the BRI is an opportunity as it sets up a framework for collaborations between countries, associations, and industries to happen. There are also funds and banks committed to promoting green development of the BRI, which provides financial support.”

China’s New Development Bank is one obvious source of that financial support. It has already backed solar and other renewable energy projects in South Africa to the tune of nearly $400 million since it signed its first loans in December 2016.

As the dominant force in solar manufacturing, Chinese firms would also be likely to do well out of any pan-continental solar push. In 2018, eight of the ten largest firms, measured by shipments, were Chinese.

Efforts to establish intercontinental distributions networks from North Africa to Europe have stalled in the past, however. That was largely a private endeavour compared to the far more geopolitically charged efforts of the BRI.

Source: Forbes

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SDPI, Chinese think tanks to promote green BRI policies

Pakistan’s leading think tank ‘Sustainable Development Policy Institute’ (SDPI) and Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA), China and All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) have agreed to promote green Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) policy and practices and improved communication between Chinese overseas projects with local stakeholders in Pakistan. They will facilitate the implementation of higher Environment Social Governance (ESG) standards in Chinese Overseas Projects in Pakistan.

Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA) is an independent, nonprofit, global campaigning organization and All-China Environment Federation ACEF is a nationwide non-profitable civil society organization (CSO) in the field of environment. A delegation from GPEA and ACEF recently visited SDPI to have a face-to-face talk with local stakeholders.

Executive Director SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said the purpose of this collaboration with Chinese research institutes is to bridge the research communication gap between the two countries, especially in the areas of CPEC, energy and climate change. He said language is a major barrier in terms of research and publications, which can be bridged through the translation of work in both countries. SDPI offered solutions on issues around CPEC, debt trap, trade and climate change. These are the areas where collaboration with Chinese think tank and civil society organizations can be fruitful. The way Chinese is leading the environmental conservation and climate negotiation, after backing out of Trump administration from the Paris-Agreement, is commendable, he remarked.

Ms Li Ai Project lead, Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA) said GPEA is working on fighting climate change, stop toxic pollution, ensure food security and defend the oceans. She said GPEA with the help of its partners is helping the Chinese government in promoting sustainable green development in their energy infrastructure projects, especially in the BRI projects. For that in 2018, GPEA and ACEF jointly initiated the ‘Green Belt and Road Environment Leadership’ project to promote the communication of green BRI policies and ESG implementation in Chinese overseas projects.

Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja, Senior Advisor Chemicals said SDPI explored the possibility of joint research proposals and programs in the areas of climate change, clean energy, environmental assessment of CPEC projects, sustainable development (inclusive growth), Chinese overseas investment, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and environmental challenges including air pollution.

Wang Jiajia, Project coordinator (ACEF) said ACEF with its network of local civil society organization is promoting social environmental protection rights of the public and sustainable development in different Chinese projects in China and BRI countries. He said green BRI projects can help promote sustainable development in the region and the globe.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI said Pakistan and China have signed revised Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which not only liberalizes more tariff lines for both countries but also there is provision for environmental goods. This shows that both countries respecting the natural resources and environmental endowments in the region. He said SDPI has established a dedicated unit of China Study Center to help the government on both sides in providing research support to promote green development in CPEC and BRI projects.

Source: DailyTimes

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Pakistani students to be offered vocational training, education in China

The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme will offer scholarships to 1,000 Pakistani students for a one-year vocational training starting from November this year in China.

“The students to be selected from across the country will be provided free tuition and dormitory during the training at different universities and institutes in China,” Echo Lee, Director General, CPEC CCC and CEO of St Xianglin Management and Consulting Company while talking to APP here on Sunday.

The CPEC CCC is located in China’s Suzhou Vocational University, which has the world-class facilities and able faculty and its functions include Sino-Pak students exchange, academic research and seminars, vocational education, organising Chinese culture experience camp and teachers exchange, she added.

Giving further details about scholarship scheme, she said it is a three level programme and the students will be taught outer space and high-speed train technology during the first level while in the middle level, they will be imparted education of hydro-power and solar energy engineering.

The students selected for the lowest level will get training for the driving of different machines and types of equipment including excavation machines and caterpillar etc.

Ms Echo Lee said this year, 1,000 students will be offered 20 majors from a high level to the lower level classes as compared to 100 scholarships in six majors last year.

While hoping for a positive response and cooperation from the Pakistani side, she said at present, the details are being discussed with the concerned officials in the Pakistan ministry of planning, development and reforms as well as the embassy of Pakistan in Beijing.

She informed the CPEC CCC is jointly working along with the Chinese education ministry which is affiliated with a number of vocational universities and institutes.

To a question, she claimed that vocational education in China is the highest level in the world even in some areas it is better than Germany and Japan.

The CEO said this cross-border education exchange programme is step one of the overall project and added in the next phases, equipment and teachers will be sent for vocational training of Pakistani students in Pakistan.

The Chinese vocational education centres, as well as educational parks, would be set up in Pakistan in future, she added.

She said her organization intends to donate some training equipment and looking forward to a positive response from Pakistani institutions which are interested to receive it.

About the cooperation in the past, she said her organization has signed a MoU with Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw (KP) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) governments to set up cultural communication centres under the CPEC framework.

These centres will serve as the main forum in the field of Sino-Pak education and cultural communication, she added.

SOURCE:https://nation.com.pk/01-Jul-2018/pakistani-students-to-be-offered-vocational-training-education-in-china

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Pakistan to get faster, reliable internet as China backed submarine cable to start operations by end-2019

LAHORE: Pakistan internet backhaul is expected to receive a significant boost with the addition of an upcoming submarine cable called PEACE cable with landing routes in Karachi and Gwadar.

This submarine cable which is expected to be active by end of 2019 will have over 60 Tb capacity and is expected to stretch to Africa and Europe.

It is named PEACE (Pakistan East Africa Cable Express) and is a joint venture between Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems Limited, Huawei Marine Networks.

In its first phase, PEACE will comprise a 6,200km network connecting Pakistan (in Gwadar and Karachi), Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. It will eventually span 13,000km, reaching South Africa and Egypt.

According to sources, Pakistan’s leading cellular provider Jazz and internet service provider (ISP) Cybernet have been shortlisted as the intended landing parties for the PEACE cable in Pakistan.

Recently a high-level conference organized by PCCW Global, PEACE and Huawei Marine held in Dubai was attended by all the leading international landing parties, which was said to be a major success.

ICT expert Parvez Iftikhar tweeting about the PEACE submarine cable said:

 

 

This system, designed by Chinese company Tropic Science, depends on 200G dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology – used to increase bandwidth on fibre networks by transmitting multiple signals at once, at different wavelengths but on the same fibre.

The system was designed to deliver a capacity of up to 60Tbps.

Currently, Pakistan is served by six submarine cables and has suffered frequent internet outages which have left services crippled across the country in the recent past.

In July and August 2017, the severing of two leading submarine cables which form the backbone of Pakistan’s internet bandwidth led to a major slowdown of services across the country.

With the PEACE cable expected to come online by end of 2019, the country’s internet connectivity and backup will receive a major boost, leading to less frequent outages and disruption of services.

Not only will the addition of PEACE cable overhaul the country’s internet infrastructure, but the reliability of services and will also reduce dependence on other submarine cables in case of their severance.

 

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/04/14/peace-submarine-cable-to-start-services-in-pakistan-by-end-2019/

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China provides ‘high-performance tracking system’ for Pakistan’s missile programme

China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistan’s missile programme and military’s development of multi-warhead missiles, according to South China Morning Post.

News of the sale to Islamabad – and evidence that Beijing is supporting rapidly developing Pakistan’s  missile programme – comes two months after India tested its most advanced nuclear-ready intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range long enough to hit Beijing or Shanghai, the article in the Chinese daily observes.

According to the publication, Chinese authorities declassified information about the deal on Wednesday.

A statement on the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) website said China was the first country to export such sensitive equipment for high performance tracking system for Pakistan’s missile program.

Zheng Mengwei, a researcher with the CAS Institute of Optics and Electronics in Chengdu, Sichuan province, confirmed to the South China Morning Post that Pakistan had bought a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system from China.

Alarming arms race among Pakistan, India and China

The country’s military recently deployed the Chinese-made system “at a firing range” for use in testing and developing its new missiles, he said.

India’s January 18 test of its Agni-V ICBM, with a range of more than 5,000km (3,100 miles), is seen as a message that the country can deploy a credible nuclear deterrent against China, and Beijing is determined to counter it.

While the Hindu-majority country’s single-warhead missiles are bigger and cover longer distances, Pakistan has focused its efforts on developing multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), a type of missile-carrying several nuclear warheads that can be directed towards different targets.

The US Defence Intelligence Agency officially confirmed in March that Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel missile in January 2017, “demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload”.

China’s multi-nuke missile capable of striking anywhere in world to be ready soon

Although the Ababeel missile has a range of only 2,200km, it can deliver numerous warheads to different targets. The technology has the potential to overwhelm a missile defence system, wiping out an adversary’s nuclear arsenal in one surprise attack.

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1666541/9-china-provides-high-performance-tracking-system-pakistans-missile-programme/

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China to Train Pakistanis in Space Technology

For the first time, China is going to admit foreign students in its aerospace institute, including some from Pakistan. Pakistani students will get trained at China’s Space Technology Institution for the first time ever.

China will now concede outside understudies in its aviation organization. A total of eight foreign students from the following countries were given confirmation in Shenzhou College of Space Technology:

  • Pakistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Cambodia
  • Venezuela
  • Belarus

A ceremony was held in Shenzhou College, which comes under China Academy of Space Technology, to welcome the students.

The Master’s degree in Aerospace Science program consists of a two-year course.

Space Science professor Jiao Weizix of Pecking University told,

“China’s aerospace industry technology is comprehensive, especially its satellites for navigation, communication and meteorology, a field in which China can and would like to help other countries cultivate talent. The enrollment of foreign students also proves that China’s technology in the field has made a huge progress during the past years.”

China Academy of Space Technology already cooperates with Pakistan, Algeria, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Ethiopia under the Know-How project.

Jiao added that the initiative will help in building China’s global image as well,

“China used to receive help from countries such as the former Soviet Union and now is able to help others, which is also good for China in building its international image.”

China and Pakistan recently partnered to launch a communications and remote sensing satellite in 2018 as well. China will also help Pakistan Airforce by equipping the world’s most advanced radar system in the JF-17 Thunder Jet Fighter.The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme is also offering one-year vocational training to Pakistanis.

SOURCE: https://propakistani.pk/2018/03/30/china-to-train-pakistanis-in-space-technology/

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PCJCCI identifies potential sectors for Pak-China joint ventures

LAHORE: Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) has identified seven high potential sectors for joint ventures and investment between Pakistan and China, which include handicrafts, textile, leather, gemstone, sportswear, surgical instruments, and technology-based agriculture along with reclamation and salinity control.

Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) office-bearers presented a research paper to Deputy Minister China and Counsel for the Promotion of International Trade Jinan, Teng Shaung, during a meeting here at the Expo Centre, according to the joint chamber’s spokesperson on Monday.

Teng Shaung was heading an 81-member delegation to participate in the Auto Show, which got the entire auto engineering sector assembled under one roof. All government high-ups, local and international buyers and manufacturers along with machinery manufacturers, raw material providers, and service providers were present at the event. She also distributed a questionnaire backed by primary research to have direct feedback from the stakeholders of the auto market on this occasion.

The deputy minister was satisfied and hopeful for the joint business ventures in different automotive sectors. She thanked PCJCCI President SM Naveed and other office-bearers for serving as a bridge between business communities of Pakistan and China to explore and expand the opportunities in the commercial and industrial sector.

During her trip, Teng Shaung also visited many places including different trade bodies, expo centers, wholesale markets, and shared her primary research with local stakeholders. The idea behind the primary research was to gauge true potential and make a SWOT analysis for disseminating prospective investors from China in related sectors. She highly applauded the research conducted by PCJCCI in this regard and assured to disseminate the valuable findings of this research among Chinese investors.

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/03/19/pcjcci-identifies-potential-sectors-for-pak-china-joint-ventures/

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Chinese experts delegation visits mineral side of Balochistan’s Muslim Bagh

QUETTA: Secretary Industrial Balochistan Ahmed said that Chinese experts would train the youth of province in technical and industrial sectors in order to get opportunities of mega project China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the country.

He said this while briefing six members of Chinese delegation when they visited the Muslim Bagh’s mineral area and Special Economic Zone in Bostan in connection with investment opportunities in Baluchistan.

Muslim Bagh was formerly called Hindu Bagh, which is believed to have originated in a garden that was planted here by a Hindu saint in ages past. Later it was named as “Muslim Bagh” by former minister Moulvi Saleh Muhammad Mardanzai of that time .

The Chinese experts delegation visited mineral and chromites side area of Muslim Bagh where they were also briefed about recovered chromites. “Chinese and Balochistan experts jointly will play their role in development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan and province”, he said in a briefing. He said Balochistan is rich in mineral resources where foreign investors could take benefits in these fields.

Secretary noted that under the CPEC, Balochistan is emerging investment province around the world and adding that he hoped that the Chinese specialist delegation would play their key role in boosting investment in Balochistan.

Regional Director Federal Board of Investment Dr Riaz, Director Mines and Mineral Khalid Achakzai, Deputy Director of Mines, Syed Muzaffar Bukhari, Syed Rafiq-Ullah were accompanied with Chinese delegation during visiting.

Source: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/03/17/chinese-expert-delegation-visits-mineral-side-of-balochistans-muslim-bagh/