Chinese investment casts shadow over Indo-Pak bilateral trade: political economist S Akbar Zaidi

Kolkata: Pakistan's political economist Prof S Akbar Zaidi on Saturday said that the growing dependence on Chinese investment in Pakistan has cast a shadow on Indo-Pak trade prospects.

India. Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

"Currently, the official bilateral trade is stuck at around $2.1 billion and I don't see it going to double in the next five years when Pakistan thinks China is the best friend," Zaidi said on the sidelines of his lecture at the Bengal Chamber in Kolkata.

He believes that the prospect for Indo-Pak bilateral trade is of $10 billion.

"With Pakistan treating China as its best friend and putting all eggs in one basket which is unfortunate, I don't see trade is going up" Zaidi said.

He indicated that as US cutting aids since the last few years and China's aggressive investment plans in Pakistan, his country was moving close toward the dragon country.

He said though official trade with India was about $2.1 billion, unofficial and via the third country, it was about $4 billion, Zaidi said.

He said, now more Pakistani students were studying in China than in the US.

He said Pakistan was expected to gain from the investments from China of worth $56 billion in infrastructure, but warned that prostrating before China under the guise of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) might lead to potential debt problems.

In both Sri Lanka and Tajikistan, with rising costs and debts incurred by the host countries, a large chunk of land was handed over to the Chinese in lieu of unpaid funds, Zaidi said.

Published Date: Jun 10, 2017 04:27 pm | Updated Date: Jun 10, 2017 04:27 pm

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