Date: Apr 15, 2018
By: Panos Mourdoukoutas , CONTRIBUTOR Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
One day, China will turn Pakistan into its own “semi-colony,” as it did recently with Sri Lanka.
China has been nice to Pakistan, on the surface that is. It has been building the China Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will connect Western China with the Indian Ocean, provided of course that India will allow it.
That could certainly benefit Pakistan, helping the country make a big step forward, from an emerging to a mature economy, creating a lot of jobs in the process.
But it could hurt Pakistan, too. Like adding to Pakistan’s corruption, which keeps pushing the costs of the project higher by the day, making Pakistan more indebted to China, which has been financing the project.
Rising indebtedness comes at a time when the country is already living beyond its means, as evidenced by persistent current account deficits, government debt, and external debt.
Pakistan recorded a Current Account deficit of 3867 USD Million in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Tradingeconomics.com. The country’s Current Account averaged -587.18 USD Million from 1976 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 1418 USD Million in the Q3 of 2002 and a record low of -4419 USD Million in the Q2 of 2017. [FULL STORY]