CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative: Economic Implications for the Greater Middle East

by Taimoor tanveer

Author: Ejaz Hussain

Affiliation: Iqra University, Islamabad

Organization/Publisher: Journal Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

Date/Place: February 24, 2020, U.K.

Type of Literature: Journal Article

Number of Pages: 17

Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/25765949.2020.1728970

Keywords: CPEC, BRI, Greater Middle East, Transregional Trade, Market Connectivity



China adopted its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, to integrate the Asia-Pacific and Eurasian region economically. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an episode of BRI that will connect Northwestern China with the Arabian Sea via Pakistan. Other regional actors like Saudi Arab, Qatar, Oman, and the UAE are also trying to pursue their respective economic ambitions by participating in the CPEC. The geostrategic location of Gwadar, western port of Pakistan is quite significant in attracting regional stakeholders. It will provide an alternative deep port for the maritime traffic moving to and from the Persian Gulf. This paper analyzes the projections of future visions, specifically Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision, Qatar National 2030 Vision, and Omani 2040 Vision. According to the author, these visions are aligned with the CPEC because of the required economic stability and regional connectivity for the sustainability of these visions. The increasing trade volume between China and the Middle East has surpassed $200 Billion, therefore further economic interdependence and integration is foreseeable. The author concludes that the non-BRI States like the US and India must be invited into this larger economic integration to diplomatically resolve any disputes, particularly in South Asia. It will also help to accelerate economic activity in South Asia where regional connectivity is contemporarily not possible.  


By: Muhammad Taimoor Bin Tanveer, CIGA Research Associate

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