Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec.21 : There is a view emerging in Pakistan that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could well have the makings of another East India Company, given the kind of control the Chinese are being allowed to have over the 46 billion dollar project.
According to The Friday Times, while it is all very well to loudly tout the CPEC as a game changer, the underlying worry and concern is the excessive competitiveness of the Chinese who have a past reputation of having an imposing yet discreet control over projects with which they are associated with in other countries.
The author of the article, Samir Ahmad said, "Pakistan isn't the only country China has its eyes on. This year Chinese firms have already announced to double the record USD106 billion in foreign acquisitions they made in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Of this, K-Electric's transaction will be less than one percent of the overall plans to invest abroad.
Lately, reports have circulated that the Chinese are interested in buying 40 percent of the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
This comes after a Chinese company already expressed interest in buying a stake in a Pakistani cement company..." Pakistan, according to the article, has an estimated population of over 200 million people, with high consumption patterns and a relatively safer environment.
So, according to its analysis, China's plans to tap Europe, the Middle East and Central Asian markets needed to include Pakistan, and Islamabad has obliged willingly.
"Pakistan agreed to become part of the One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) initiative, forming the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that includes a slew of energy projects as well as investments in roads and railways," the article says.
It adds, "..One thing is for certain; we will hear and see a lot of China in Pakistan than we have ever before.
Their products have flooded markets in every country and their investments have only increased over time.China, for one, is known to make a deal when it sees one. So, does it really come as a surprise that a country into which China is pumping in close to USD 50 billion in soft loans and investments actually has more to offer than just its location for a corridor? When it comes to making an assessment between Chinese and Western companies, a fact that comes out clearly is that while the latter announce or make investments in another country or countries, these have attached conditions to protect human and labour rights, whereas in the case of the Chinese no such conditionalities exist, and hence make themselves eligible for a lot more concessions than their Western counterparts.
"The bigger concern is when Chinese companies go about setting up a business, they make it really hard for inefficient entities to sustain themselves," adding that " its model is to invest in countries where there is growth potential." China, the article sums up wants to increase consumption, and therefore, is on the lookout for other avenues, Pakistan being one such area where they see potential for themselves.