The narrative of all-weather friendship between Pakistan and China has the scope to become a realityin spite of the fact that both the countries face various challenges to go beyond a certain limit apart from the defense cooperation.Both countries are the neighbours, but foreign to each other in many ways such as race, religion and traditions and factually without any people-to-people contact despite having cordial relations more than half of a century. However, both the countries have successfully contained their ideological differences and conflicting viewpointson various international affairs to maintain minimal level of similarity. China is the future economy of the world and needs regional cooperation to enhance the domain of its trade and investment. Pakistan is the best choice after India which had failed to exploit the opportunity of friendship with China and even met with a humiliated defeat in a border war with China.Now China is interested in the revival of Silk Route and willing to spend over $16 billion on the project and has initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with an expected capital of $50 billion.
Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Shah Faisal hopes that Pakistan can turn into a westward artery by modernising and reviving the Silk Route. According to him, the Silk Road Fund will welcome investment from all parts of the world and the government will have to be prepared to exploit the geographical potential of the country and partnership with its giant neighbour to entail a robust infrastructure, availability of regular energy supply and take steps for good governance.
Faisal says that the Silk Route,with connectivity in central and south Asia through land, sea and airports destinations, willfacilitate and encourage mutual and regional trade.China is already investing billions of dollars to connect Xinjiang province with Pakistani borders as potentials of vibrant trade are very high through the improvement of road infrastructure. The government will have to amend laws and regulations regarding taxation policies and customs tariff to reap the benefits of the trade route.
Meanwhile, ChinesePresident Xi Jinping has announced that the goal of Silk RoadFund is to break the connectivity bottleneck in the region. China will inject $40 billion into the Silk Road Fund to improve infrastructure across the Asia-Pacific. The countries in the region benefiting the road are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan.Xi says that the fund will invest and finance infrastructure projects to boost industrial and financial cooperation to forge better links between countries along the new Silk Road. Pakistan is at the verge of economic take off, but policies can only be beneficial if implementation is ensured.