With UK all set to exit the European Union in January, it has started to look out for options to carry on trade with and grow its economy.
The UK government have certainly seen recent developments in CPEC as attracting investors and countries from all across the world. Global experts have hailed the Gwadar port city and other CPEC projects in the region as a great opportunity to invest money and get benefits from.
UK see opportunity in CPEC projects
With the setup of CPEC group in the British Parliament, officials in the UK have already started showing their interest in the multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects in the region. In a recent meeting with the FCCI, a UK official revealed that a CPEC group has already been set up in the UK parliament. He later stated
“The purpose of this forum is to raise awareness of the opportunities to be created following the completion of this mega infrastructure project, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).”
UK-Pakistan bilateral trade is meant to benefit a lot from the CPEC projects going on in the region. Revenue from the trade is expected to go up as soon as the port city of Gwadar becomes functional. Apart from this, the involvement of the UK in the CPEC will improve the relationship between the UK and Pakistan on various fronts.
Providing UK investors an easy entry into the Pakistani market.
British investors have been known to gain interest in the logistics and energy related projects lately. The involvement of the UK in the CPEC projects will provide British investors an easy entry into the Gulf waters and the countries surrounding the Gwadar port. The Baluchistan province is the largest state in Pakistan and has recently been undergoing a huge transformation after the announcement of the Chinese development aid. Gwadar is said to become home to more than a million Pakistanis and expats coming in from various countries of the world.
The investors from UK who are showing interest in logistics and energy related projects have a huge market in this region. Also, the tax exemptions from the Pakistani government to the investors for the next couple of years will be hugely beneficial to the counterparts investing in the Gwadar region. The UK will be looking for profitable markets and Pakistan will serve as a potential lucrative business partnership. The UK could import Pakistani goods at a cheaper rate than the other countries in the European Union.
UK will have access to some of the biggest Asian markets.
Once the UK gets separated from the European Union, it will look to making new relationships with various countries. Being established in Pakistan means the UK can pursue trade with the Gulf countries and Pakistan easily through Gwadar. Some of the biggest importers of the products manufactured in the UK are in Southeast Asia area. There is also an opportunity to work in collaboration with China and Pakistan in developing the CPEC projects.
The UK will have ease in developing strategic and trade ties with the Gulf countries.
With investors who are adamant in investing their dollars in the energy and logistics sector, the UK will have to look for cheaper options when it comes to bringing in and taking out goods and services from the country. UK will also have to maintain strong strategic relationships with countries in Southeast Asia to have a strong hold over the Indian Ocean. With China helping Pakistan fight its internal and external affairs, Pakistan is progressing rapidly to become one of the most favourable locations for investing money.
The development of the Gwadar Port will also help Pakistan get an upper hand in most of the strategic and trade relations in the Arabic sea. This will provide the UK an opportunity to establish a strong bond with Pakistan and other countries in the region as well. The Gulf countries are the sole market where UK can expect oil and petroleum products at a cheaper rate. Recently, various countries in the Gulf region have expressed the desire to invest in the CPEC projects, and the UK can look towards building more relationships in the region.
In summary, UK-Pakistan bilateral trade in the 2017 was 2.7 billion euros and this can receive a huge boost with the UK becoming a part of the CPEC project. The United Kingdom can benefit further with all the infrastructure and strategic developments in Pakistan. Apart from this, UK can also look forward to the possible easing Visa terms and conditions, only if circumstances become more amicable.
Ultimately, it’s not just China and Pakistan that are to get a boost in their economy as a result of the CPEC projects. The UK can also play a major role in the development and reap the long-term benefits for the years to come.