by Rub Nawaz Bajwa
LAHORE,Jan 15 (APP)-China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a multi-phased project about binding people through the bond of shared development and prosperity is set to take Pakistan to new horizons on economic front.
CPEC which is not just a corridor of connectivity to bring the places closer but a project of immence potential bound to change the destiny of the whole region.
One of the most important phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is its industrial phase which will start soon and under it 36 Economic Zones will be set up in various areas of the country.
CPEC is geared to usher in new job opportunities, nhanced exports,more foreign exchange,burgeoning trade activities,
and a number of other financial aspects of the country set to materialise during the upcoming industrial phase.
According to estimates under recently enhanced version of CPEC,as many as 2.3 million jobs for skilled and professional staff will be created through different ventures.
Jobs for semi skilled and unskilled persons and indirect jobs will also be in millions.
Newly elected Chairman Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Punjab Zone Manzoor- ul- Haq Malik while talking to APP said,”CPEC has given us a new hope and opportunity to grow and compete in an environment where world is a global village.”
The Industrial phase of CPEC will bring new opportunities as well as challenges for the local industry, he opined.
“Those of us (industrialists) who would not adapt to meet the needs of new environment will have to face difficulties”,he cautioned.
Expressing optimism, he said, “Most of our industrialists will gain substantially from various projects under CPEC due to huge potential of growth in the country and its vast resources.”
He said that Chinese believed in mass (bulk) production.
“Our industrialists need to understand their working pattern first and then we can formulate our action plan.We can enter into joint ventures with Chinese or in our individual capacity. This can only be possible if the authorities don’t ignore interests of local industry while making agreements under CPEC”, he stressed.
The Chairman further said “We have to introduce our brands and also adopt modern technology and technical skills to increase our profits”.
Chinese have achieved their current economic position due to latest education and technical know how which their children got from various world class institutions. Same is the way forward for us,he pointed out.
Manzoor ul Haq Malik who is also Vice President FPCCI assured that the apex body of commerce and industry in Pakistan would work hand in hand with the government and industry as well as commerce sectors to reap full benefits of CPEC.
He highlighted that initial discussion with the concerned authorities was in progress and active liaison already existed.
Experts of Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR) believe that Pakistan has to make vigourous efforts to prepare work force for availing maximum benefits from Industrial phase and other ventures under CPEC.
A report recently issued by IPR says–“Of the factors that increase productivity,infrastructure will improve in coming years,largely from CPEC. However,there is need for urgent action to upgrade skills and improve R&D as well as governance”.
Experts warned”By not doing so,Pakistan would have missed out on a large part of its potential”.
About the workforce being prepared in Pakistan the Acting Director CPEC Hassan Dawood said that spade work had already been started to equip Pakistani youth with necessary skills for their easy adjustment within the industries to be set up under CPEC.
Federal and other provincial governments have also taken special initiatives for this purpose, he said.
As per data available from Punjab government as many as 2.143 million skilled graduates will be ready in the province by the year 2018.
Regular and Private Sector Training under TEVTA will train 541,128 persons,Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) 480,000,Punjab Skills Development Funds (PSDF) 225,000 Private Sector Self (Affiliated colleges) 140,000, Administrative Departments Training and Higher Education department 298,814. Livestock and Dairy Development Department 160,800,Health Department 62,072,Agriculture Department 30,638 and Mines & Minerals Department 4,720,Total for Administrative Departments 557,044 persons.
Punjab government has made training certification for jobs as pre-requisite.It is observed that understanding of Chinese Language Skill will also play a key role in this regard.
Kamran Chaudhry,a well known Chinese language expert working with government of Punjab said that the government was making sincere efforts to promote Chinese language among Pakistani youth.
Quoting figures,he said that 10,000 professionals of Chinese language, 25,000 intermediate speakers and 100,000 basic speakers would be prepared during the year 2017 for CPEC needs.
He said that Confucius Institutes have been set up in four cities–Islamabad,Karachi,Lahore and Faisalabad for providing Chinese language skills.
Under Chief Minister Punjab’s scholarship scheme, a number of scholarships for learning Chinese language were being offered.
The way forward for Pakistan is the same as adopted by Chinese nation–education,skill development and best utilisation of all the resources,Human resource atop.