UK eyeing projects in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor | world-news | Hindustan Times
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UK eyeing projects in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

A 2015 joint statement by the British and Chinese governments had committed both to support each other’s commercial cooperation in new markets, including China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

world Updated: May 11, 2017 15:18 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
The multi-billion dollar CPEC will connect Xinjiang in China’s west to the Gwadar port in Balochistan.
The multi-billion dollar CPEC will connect Xinjiang in China’s west to the Gwadar port in Balochistan.(Reuters File)

The United Kingdom is eyeing projects in the $51 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), officials said on Wednesday.

International trade minister Greg Hands hosted a trade roundtable here on Tuesday, attended by the UK’s ambassador to Pakistan and Pakistan’s ambassador to the UK as well as representatives of British firms, policy experts, Chinese officials and banks.

“The UK is poised to be a key partner of CPEC,” an official source said on Wednesday. The UK will host what the sources described as “a larger CPEC conference” in Islamabad in May.

Hands said: “Britain is a country of free-trade influence and can be an important partner for China and Pakistan in the delivery of huge infrastructure projects that are being planned between the two countries.

“As part of an outward looking Global Britain, we have a clear ambition to increase trade with both China and Pakistan and UK businesses are well placed to capitalise on the new opportunities the region.”

A 2015 joint statement by the British and Chinese governments had committed both to support each other’s commercial cooperation in new markets, including China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — the CPEC is a key component of the ambitious project.

India has not signed up for BRI because the CPEC passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir — diplomats say India’s endorsing the BRI would mean giving up its claims on PoK.