EghtesadOnline: A Pakistani analyst believes that if Iran joins China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) it will make the corridor a greater and safer game-changer in terms of regional trade and connectivity.
'Ayaz Ahmed’ in his article published in Pakistan’s English daily ‘the News’ on Friday said Iran’s exceptional geostrategic and geo-economic location, potential energy resources and developing economy will presumably make the corridor more effective and more efficient for Pakistan and China, reports IRNA.
“Both Pakistan and China should give serious consideration to Iran’s willingness of joining the CPEC in order to make the grand project a prodigious success by minimizing its security threats,” the article said.
After the successful conclusion of the Iran-P5+1 nuclear deal, energy-rich Iran is once again set to become a major regional economic and military power in future.
The China-Pakistan-Iran Economic Corridor (CPIEC) will greatly help Pakistan and Iran make the Gwadar and Chabahar ports supplementary rather than disruptively competitive.
After making both the ports fully operational, Pakistan and Iran may formally determine their shares of Central Asian exports and imports, thereby dispelling the impression of projected competition and zero-sum game.
Second, Iran’s partnership in the grand economic corridor will immensely assist in the better security of the CPIEC. Having a stake in the corridor, Iran will not permit regional powers to use its soil for fomenting militancy and insurgency in Balochistan.
After connecting Iran to China via Pakistan through the CPIEC, bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan and Iran and China will increase manifold. Both Pakistan and Iran have already decided to increase annual trade volumes between the two countries to $5bn by 2021. Closer economic ties will also help Pakistan import a great amount of cheap Iranian electricity to industrialize the city of Gwadar and decrease hours of outages plaguing other parts of the country.
Closer economic ties with Iran will facilitate Pakistan and China to export more and more Iranian oil and gas.
The Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline could be expanded to include China as a member. With financial and technical support from China, Pakistan will be able to construct its portion of 785 km of IP pipeline in the shortest span of time.