CPEC and Capacity Building in Pakistan By Asia Maqsood

Recent decades have seen a tremendous technological progress in computing and telecommunications. The contemporary world will see huge impact of this technological development on society and policymaking.
This study will specifically focus on the impacts of technological development under the development project China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through establishing Information Technology (IT) Parks in Pakistan. Pakistan is an important country in China’s one belt one road initiative (OBOR) in which CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects worth 62 billion throughout the country. These projects have a potential to bring significant changes at economic, social, and financial levels within the country.
Information technology plays an important role in reducing the distance which has potential to resolve many problems related to economic productivity, intellectual property rights, privacy, protection, and affordability of and access to information.
The geographical distribution of work is changing dramatically in contemporary times. For instance, industries can outsource their manufacturing to other countries and telecommunications play a significant role in marketing, research and development. Furthermore, technology can enable the people of both countries to take benefit from each other in various types of work and employment.
Through the development of different industrial parks and information technology parks under CPEC in Pakistan, there will be more freedom to firms to locate their economic activities, creating greater competition among regions in infrastructure, labour, capital, and other resource markets.
Social interaction in organisations will be improved by use of computers and communication technologies that also favours telecommuting, and thus, has implications for the residence patterns of the citizens. As workers find that they can do most of their work at home rather than in a centralised workplace, the demand for homes in climatically and physically attractive regions would increase.
Apart from the industrial sector, information technology plays a momentous role in the educational sector. This can affect the craft of teaching, for instance, the role of an instructor is a supplier of services to the students, who might be regarded as its customers. But a good teacher or a supervisor of students would play a role in motivating, encouraging, evaluating, and developing students.
The development of industrial and IT parks under CPEC will make firms more free when locating their economic activities
However, technological progress inevitably creates dependence on technology. Indeed the creation of vital infrastructure ensures dependence on that infrastructure. The world is now dependent on its transport, telephone, and other infrastructures, it will be dependent on the emerging information infrastructure as well.
CPEC is of great importance for both China and Pakistan. China’s government is striving to consume its supporting role to build an environment for the open economic and logistics system under the CPEC. It is considered as the corridor of peace, prosperity and development for Pakistan.
China and Pakistan have signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, as well as pledged to “China-Pakistan Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory” as part of CPEC. The two countries also pledged to establish the “China-Pakistan Joint Marine Research Center” with State Oceanic Administration and Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Also as part of the CPEC agreement, Pakistan and China have agreed to co-operate in the field of space research.
In February 2016, the two countries agreed to establish the “Pak-China Science, Technology, Commerce and Logistic Park” near Islamabad at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. The park will be situated on 500 hectares, which will be provided by Pakistan to China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, with all investments expected to come from the Chinese side over the course of ten years.
In May 2016, construction began on the $44 million 820 kilometres long Pakistan-China Fiber Optic Project- an optical fibre cable that will enhance telecommunication in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, while offering Pakistan a fifth route by which to transmit telecommunication traffic.
China will also build $1.5 Billion National Science & Technology Park under CPEC in H-12 Islamabad near NUST.
CPEC will uplift Pakistan’s economy through immense investment in various sectors such as industrial, agricultural, and technological. This development would transform the standards of living of Pakistani people and bring social change in the country.
The writer has a degree of MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. She has done Masters in International Relations from the same Institute. She frequently writes on China Pakistan affairs, CPEC, South Asia’s Regional Issues which have been published in various national, international blogs and newspapers. She can be reached at asiamaqsood.09@gmail.com
Published in Daily Times, May 14th 2018.
Source: https://dailytimes.com.pk/239646/cpec-and-capacity-building-in-pakistan/

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