Sunday, 15 September 2019

UK, Romania Keen to join CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project has officially become a hot topic around the world. The U.K. and Romania are reportedly ready to join the $46 billion project, which is already being called a game-changer for the region. Meanwhile, countries from all around the world view CPEC as a lucrative investment opportunity. British High Commissioner in Pakistan Thomas Drew said the U.K. is keen to become part of the CPEC project. Drew told reporters at British Embassy in Islamabad that it would be “a great pleasure” for his country to join the multi-billion dollar project. He also noted that Pakistan and the U.K. share a long 70-year-old history of bilateral relations. Drew’s comments come amid reports that the British government has been encouraging British companies to invest in several CPEC projects, a move that has already angered India, Pakistan’s traditional enemy which has locked horns with the South Asian country over the Kashmir issue. The Indian press expressed their country’s reservations on the U.K. in connection with its continued support of CPEC. There had been numerous reports that the U.K. is interested in investing in the project, but the nation formally expressed its interest in the project during the visit of Alok Sharma, the British government’s Minister for Asia and the Pacific, to Pakistan in early January.

Romania keen to join CPEC and invest in Pakistan

The U.K. is not the only European nation that is keen to join CPEC. According to the Pakistani media, the seventh most populous member state of the European Union is also keen to become part of the highly-lucrative project. Romania is currently in talks with Pakistan about it. In fact, the two sides are said to be close to reaching a deal for investment in the South Asian country. When asked if Romania has formally submitted a request to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, one of the sources said he could not disclose that information at the moment. Romania is reportedly interested in investing in numerous sectors of Pakistan, including the military, oil and gas sectors. But most notably, the EU member with a population of nearly 20 million is keen to invest in Pakistan’s automobile sector by introducing its Dacia car in the country. Dacia is Romania’s top company by revenue and by far the country’s largest exporter.

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