New business avenue between Pakistan and China still untapped: Report

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DNA

BEIJING, July 24: Besides extensive collaborations in energy, infrastructure, industrial and socio-economic spectrum, Pakistan and China have another business avenue to tap to further promote their socio-economic partnership.

According to a report published by Gwadar Pro on Friday, the lucrative window, still unexplored, belongs to sand economy.

China, which has gained mastery in the field of reclaiming lands from deserts through afforestation, has already channelized its own business fortunes by giving robust impetus to sand economy.

This ecological industry has not only unleashed monetary gains but also help catalyze jobs especially for rural areas in China.

Pakistan, desperately, needs the sand economy which is also called green economy to usher in era of afforestation to transform ill-fate into lucrative business.

Being a home of five deserts including Cholistan desert, Thal desert, Indus Valley Desert, Thar Desert and Kharan desert, Pakistan’s economy may get a booster if the PTI government engages with China to establish ecological industry, .

The report says, Pakistan should take inspiration from the example of China’s success story showcased in Kubuqi desert.

Elion, a private ecology and investment enterprise, invested approximately RMB 38 billion ($5.82 billion) in the Kubuqi desert-greening project since 1988, helping to lift more than 102,000 local farmers and herdsmen out of poverty.

If Pakistani economic wizards exploit the scenario, deserts will transform into fertile land to help grow Chinese herbal plants in great number. By exporting them that are in high demand in China, Pakistani may amplify its exports base in China.

Environmentalist Dr Javed Iqbal said that Pakistan should welcome Elion Resources Group and its investment proposal in deserts of country. ERG has planted the seed of industrialization of desertification control in people’s mind, he adds.

Kubuqi project generated over 5000 employment opportunities for local peasants and herdsmen, while free professional training has also been provided to make them the new-generation ecological construction workers, tourist service staff and skilled workers of intensive breeding and planting.

The ecological industry in desert has increased the income of natives by over RMB 300 million per year. The per capita net income of herdsmen has increased from RMB 2,000 in the past to RMB 30,000 at present.

All five deserts in Pakistan have been confronting the same worst conditions like once Kabuqi desert in China suffered 32 years ago. Cholistan desert sprawling over 10,200 sq mile is stripped off all civic facilities with scanty water and vegetation.

Agriculturist Dr. Humayun Faisal says that Pakistan governments, in past, launched some projects to increase the prospects of irrigation and cultivation in the Thal desert by unveiling Greater Thal Canal project (phase I and Phase II) costing Rs. 30 billion in 2001 but unfortunately project stands incomplete so far.