Pakistan seeks rejig of economic corridor, trade pact with China
Pakistan is in talks with China to adjust bilateral relations, especially on economic issues. A Pakistani official said that “the new leadership feels that the terms agreed by the previous government were heavily tilted in China’s favor and they want to review that.” Under review is both the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) deal and their Free Trade Agreement as Pakistan seeks to increase exports. A lack of transparency is also under discussion, as CPEC deal terms were not shared with the public, causing concerns regarding Chinese influence and control over Pakistani policy. Critics have cited this as a disincentive for other foreign investors. The negotiations will be relevant to the ongoing discussions regarding another multi-billion dollar ballout from the IMF. More broadly, the difficulties faced by the new Pakistani government are shared by other new administrations that must balance new agreements and deals with protecting the country’s credibility in sticking to deals it has already made.