BEIJING, Feb 20 (APP):The unprecedented Saudi investment, half of which will support a refinery and petrochemicals complex  in the port of Gwadar, is expected to shore up Pakistan’s economy and strengthen trade ties  between the two countries.

Some observers are quick to compare the Saudi investment with the China-Pakistan Economic Corr dor (CPEC) project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to an article published  by Global Times on Wednesday.

The corridor included a network of highways, railways, and infrastructure and Gwadar is an important part of it. Pakistan has been trying to get the assistance needed for development and diversify sources of investment from many countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Gwadar was not an exclusive platform.

The China-funded CPEC helps build the infrastructure at the port, and the improved condition would attract more investment which then, in turn, boosts the development of Gwadar and the whole of Pakistan. Inclusiveness and multilateral cooperation are exactly the ideas that the BRI champions.

Admittedly, geostrategic competition is prevailing in the region. If added with the different interest demands of Afghanistan and Iran and the conflict between India and Pakistan, the region can be one
of the most volatile places in the world.

Joint development is the only path that could lead the region
into long-term peace and stability. This is also the broader objective of the BRI.

China hopes that all the investment coming into the region can be connected so as to be best utilized. Regional countries should enhance cooperation via coordination. Meanwhile, all should hold an open attitude toward investment from outside the region.

As each regional power vies for a foothold and seeks its development, both competition, and cooperation feature in this process. All the countries face the question of how to turn strategic hedging into benign competition. The BRI provides the answer.