While CPEC has been the only rage government’s trade and industry departments have harbored during 2016, and many in the private sector as well hail the CPEC Route plans as a great step forward- both for industrial as well as political ties between China and Pakistan; there are still many who have extreme reservations about the developments. Some have deemed this a time as fit as any to voice their concerns over the unfavorable impact the developmental plans laid out, as a result of this Economic Corridor, will have on the local economy in Pakistan.
Recently, the three chambers of commerce from Sialkot (SCCI), Gujranwala (GCCI) and Gujrat (GTCCI), also known widely as the Golden Industrial Triangle, got together to discuss the impacts of what the establishment of Chinese industrial units as well as warehouses, along the CPEC route, will have on the local economy.
Signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the occasion, the leadership of the respective chambers urged the Government of Pakistan to take the business community into confidence regarding the nature of the industrial plans which China is going to execute in light of the CPEC route development. The leaders expressed their concern over the fact that China’s plans may have a negative effect on the local economy.
The leaders also expressed their concern over the possibility that the scenario which was being painted by these plans might turn Pakistan into a purely consumer-based market. This might also, they fear, lead to further damaging the manufacturing sector. Considering the tax regulations and the business community’s grievances with them, this fear is not ill founded as well.
The presidents of the respective chambers decided that they would be holding a meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, over the issue to voice their concerns over the speculated plans, as well as to express their grief over the fact that they had not been taken into confidence while planning out the whole industrial trade strategy.
The presidents of the said chambers of commerce in a joint statement demanded that local business community and manufacturers’ concerns should be taken into account and addressed as soon as possible, because it is highly possible that the plans might directly affect the exports from the cities that rely on the medium for their earnings.