Pakistan, China to minimize negative impact of COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 Worldover posing severe challenges to economic development, and it might affect to China-Pakistan Economy Corridor (CPEC) as well.

A report published in China Economic Net on Thursday says after arduous efforts, the Chinese people have just come out of the most difficult period and are accelerating the restoration of normal production and daily life.

What kind of impact will this pandemic have on China’s economy and Pakistan’s economy yet to be determined.

This to be examined, to what extent the CPEC, will suffer from these effects? What are the implications and what may be the consequences?

It is important to pay attention to this as CPEC is of extraordinary importance not only for China but for Pakistan.

From 2015 till now, there has been a unanimous opinion in Pakistan that CPEC is very useful to Pakistan. Therefore, any adverse impact on such a proven project would be of great concern to both countries. When the Corona virus outbreak began to spread in China, it was also linke to the operation of CPEC in Pakistan.

As many Chinese citizens working in different places of CPEC traveled to Wuhan, China to celebrate their New Year’s celebrations, after Wuhan’s lockdown, it was impossible for these Chinese engineers, experts and management people to return to Pakistan on time.

So it was difficult for many enterprises, business centers and factories to run smoothly. This situation was seen by both China and Pakistan with great concern, as 100,000 to 15,000 Chinese engineers, experts and management staff were concerned with the CPEC.

It was necessary to fill this gap as soon as possible. At that time, it was only the beginning of the outbreak in Pakistan, but measures had been introduced to prevent it.

China and Pakistan decided that the Chinese engineers and management staff should be sent to Pakistan and the policy of double quarantine should be adopted. People who were to send to Pakistan first were kept in quarantine for 14 days in China and then again in Pakistan.

Later they went to do their jobs, but despite all of this, these Chinese people should not have any connection with the locals to ensure that they are kept from the danger of the corona virus. China and Pakistan succeeded in this strategy.

The Chinese people’s arrival in Pakistan won the hearts of the Pakistanis as they saw that the Chinese were returning to their jobs faster and playing their role in advancing the CPEC projects.

In the meantime, the lockdown was announced in Pakistan to keep the citizens away from this deadly disease. The effects will inevitably fall onto the CPEC. An eight-week delay can be tolerated, but if this delay is exceeded, the disadvantages will be even greater.

It is learnt that the lockdown has stopped the steel tube factory construction in Gawadar port. All business zones and business centers are completely closed in Gawadar port and the impact of all these issues is on CPEC and its affiliates. But it is hopeful news that Gwadar port is still working under strict policies.

There can be no other opinion that China and Pakistan should begin preparing for a strategy to minimize the negative impact on the CPEC.

The devastation of epidemic has been kept in mind, but as the world gets rid of this deadly epidemic, the two countries must also jointly study the damage done to the CPEC and reduce its severity. T

The effects can last for months if the effective policy is not adopted and the effects can extend beyond the months to years, which is very regrettable.

This should not be limited to academic study, and the suggestions to solve these problems should be implemented, the report added.

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