CPEC Projects in Central Asia to promote economy

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Islamabad: Implementation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), increasing manufacturing and infrastructure projects in the West-Central Asia Zone are strong business indicators that will boost Pakistan’s economy in 2016. Large scale manufacturing output rose to 3.9 per cent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 from 2.6 per cent in like period of FY-2015.

According to the report, State Bank of Pakistan indicated some improvements that were already visible from the changes in the key macroeconomic indicators. “Economic activity seems to be gearing up as LSM has recorded a noticeable increase over the last year”, it added. The SBP also indicated the sectors, which were performing well. It said that a large number of projects will also benefit “due to the progress in implementation of the CPEC projects.

The first phase of CPEC with an investment of $46 billion is slated to be completed by end-December 2017 or early 2018, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning said. “Some of them are already under way.

They include construction of the Gwadar Port-related projects in South-West Pakistan, on Arabian Sea and Straits of Hormuz”, it said. Some two dozen huge industrial areas have been marked down to establish industries, banking, energy and service projects to be loaced from Gwadar to China as part of the CPEC.

The SBP also reported that the economy is likely to benefit from improvement in the security conditions and successful and continued fight against terrorism, better availability of electricity and gas, lower cost of imported indusial raw materials and the historic low interest rates.—APP