Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Saturday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is to propel Pakistan’s economy forward and Gwadar is set to become a port worthy of its geopolitical location but unnecessary secrecy may hit the project.
The problem with the CPEC agreement is that much of it is secret and undisclosed which is resulting in rumors and doubts which is keeping local and foreign investors away, it said.
While sufficient details about the project are not available, the experience of African and Latin American countries can inform masses of the outcome of investments, said ISCT Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt.
He said that greater transparency will lead to reduced suspicions and augmented interest on the part of local and foreign investors but it is not being ensured.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the government should take masses into confidence by informing about the amount of loans, repayments, interest etc.
The business leader said that unnecessary secrecy is against the national interests as it is giving birth to doubts among the masses and the business community.
He noted that as part of increased Chinese investment, many countries have also agreed to give preferential treatment to Chinese companies and labor which has limited growth opportunities for local companies thereby reducing the positive impact of the investment on the masses.
To ensure that Pakistani people and industry does not suffer, the government must not only develop contingency plans, it must also be more transparent about the deal.
Some experts have estimated the annual repayments and other expenses to the tune of five billion dollars which is too much, he observed.