Cheng Xizhong, a special commentator of China Economic Net, a visiting professor of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, a senior fellow with the Chahar Institute, a former Defense Attache in South Asian Countries, a former UN Senior Military Observer
Recently, it is reported that OPPO, a smartphone manufacturer in China, will invest 1 billion RMB to encourage software development for its games, videos and other forms of quality content.
Data show that in the first two quarters of 2017, OPPO became the top smartphone supplier in Pakistan, and a number of OPPO models were very popular in Pakistan.
In the era of smartphones, Chinese brands have risen strongly. In the market of India, Pakistan's neighbour in South Asia, China's MI has defeated Samsung to become the largest brand with a market share of more than 31%. India is now China's largest overseas market for millet phone. I firmly believe that OPPO would also defeat Samsung in Pakistan and eventually become the largest brand.
At present, Pakistan is indeed at the crossroad of national development. The difficulties it encounters are numerous and the problems it faces are complex. My friend Mr. Zamir Ahmed Awan recently got an article published in China Daily. The article says that Pakistan's foreign debt has reached 95 billion US dollars. On January 4, the foreign exchange reserve of Central Bank of Pakistan dropped to 7.29 billion US dollars, down 2.28% from previous week, and was below the alert line for several months. "Pakistan is experiencing the most serious economic crisis", Mr. Zamir Ahmed Awan said pessimistically. However, I think, strictly speaking, Pakistan is now experiencing some financial difficulties but the problem is not so serious.
I remember that 40 years ago, in the early days of economic reform and opening up, China faced similar problems, such as lack of funds, lag in technology and poverty among the people. At that time, China formulated a series of policies to continuously improve its investment environment and attracted a lot of foreign investment and advanced technology, which led to the country's overall technological progress and rapid economic development. After 40 years of unremitting efforts, China has become the second largest economy in the world.
Although Pakistan has many difficulties now, I think Pakistan is facing a rare development opportunity in its history. The construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has entered the harvest period with 11 projects completed and the other 11 projects in the late stage of construction. These days, there is a lot of good news about power plant construction. Unit 1 of Houb Power Plant has been connected successfully and will soon be put into commercial operation. Qasim Coal Fired Power Plant has generated 7.559 billion kwh of electricity and paid more than 167 million US dollars tax to the Pakistani government. With the successive operation of several large-scale power stations under the corridor framework, Pakistan's power shortage is being significantly improved, thus providing a tremendous impetus for the country's overall and rapid development.
At the same time, the transportation infrastructure construction under CPEC framework will lead the development of special economic zones, industrial parks, processing and manufacturing zones, science and technology parks and service industries along the corridor. It will not only promote the development of industrialization and science and technology, but also create a large number of employment opportunities, train plenty technical personnel, and enhance the country’s export capability.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said recently that the main task of his government in 2019 is to fight poverty, illiteracy, injustice and corruption. As I see, the fundamental solution to these problems is inseparable from development. Only in the process of development can these problems be solved. Now Pakistan is facing difficulties and the Chinese government has made it clear that it will continue to provide support and assistance to Pakistan's economic and social development through assistance, trade, investment and all-around pragmatic cooperation. Saudi Arabia has also expressed its willingness to invest 9 billion US dollars in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the construction of a large-scale refinery in Gwadar. To help Pakistan overcome its financial difficulties, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and other countries are providing emergency assistance to Pakistan.
The CPEC is a huge project jointly constructed by China and Pakistan. It is a development project, a hematopoietic project, the largest livelihood project and a well-being project. Its main purpose is to cultivate Pakistan's economic development ability, social progress ability and self-reliance ability.
Finally, I would like to come back to the issue of smartphones. In the past, I had Apple and Samsung mobile phones, and now I love to use smartphones made in China. A mobile phone in the hand, we have almost everything. Smart phones provide the most accurate time, direction, navigation services. Some years ago, I purchased an expensive Apple phone, but a few days later the upgraded model appeared in the market. The biggest problem I encountered was frequent charging and the short life span. In addition, some people say that the Apple mobile phone is not conducive to the protection of personal privacy. Later, I purchased a Huawei mobile phone. Normally, it only needs to be charged once a day, and the charging will be completed in a short time. China's smart products and their technologies have reached the world's most advanced level. China's smart phones and smart appliances are not only full-featured and with a long life, good quality, advanced technology, but also safe for personal privacy.
From OPPO smartphones, Pakistani friends can clearly see that if the Pakistani government can create an increasingly favorable policy and security environment, then China's most advanced smart appliances and most advanced manufacturing technology will be pouring into Pakistan. If the wise and industrious Pakistani people are good at absorbing foreign technology and gradually realizing the nationalization of the advanced industrial products, Pakistan will achieve economic growth and national prosperity. China and Pakistan are all-weather friends. The high integration of society, economy, technology and culture between the two countries is conducive to build a shared future of the two peoples.
(Cheng Xizhong, a special commentator of China Economic Net, a visiting professor of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, a senior fellow with the Chahar Institute, a former Defense Attache in South Asian Countries, a former UN Senior Military Observer)