NAVIGATING THE PATH TOWARDS GEOECONOMICS: AN ANALYSIS OF OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR PAKISTAN
Keywords:Geoeconomics, Geopolitics, Belt and Road Initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Build Back Better World
Preferring geoeconomics over geopolitics is trending globally, and Pakistan is also an aspirant to join the suit. In this regard, various factors influence Pakistan's shift towards geoeconomics, including economic interests, regional dynamics, domestic considerations, and external influences. Pakistan must make confident choices despite the challenges posed by its geography and world politics. Although its domestic economy is struggling and requires urgent attention, BRI and CPEC offer a promising opportunity for Pakistan to strengthen its economy. However, the impact of CPEC has been limited due to regional constraints and can only be realised once regional connectivity and trade and energy routes are completed and operationalised. The West has also launched its B3W initiative, recognising China's advantage in connectivity. They have warned against joining BRI, claiming it is a debt trap strategy. This paper argues that at this critical juncture of a geo-economic pivot, Pakistan must re-evaluate its choices and focus on developing its economy while prioritising economic development. It also examines the options available to Pakistan to facilitate this geoeconomic pivot effectively. The choices and their implications are likely to be persuaded by geopolitical constraints.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Amjad Mahmood Bhatti; Nataliya Shahrukh
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