Lahore – The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Culture, Economy and Society in Pakistan. Conference jointly organised by Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and the University of Nottingham. Conference organisers: Professor Katharine Adeney, Dr Filippo Boni, Dr Hasan Karrar, Professor Yunas Samad.
One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is a vast infrastructure network that aims to connect China, by land and by sea, to markets in Europe and resource suppliers in the Middle East and Africa. Announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, it is estimated that investments in OBOR infrastructure shall be in the region of $6 trillion.
Pakistan, through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has become pivotal in the Belt and Road initiative; Xi Jinping has declared that Pakistan is where the Silk Road Economic Belt and the twenty-first Century Maritime Silk Road meet. This was echoed by China's Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, who defined CPEC as OBOR's 'flagship project'. Infrastructure and communication projects under CPEC – valued in excess of $60 billion – shall likely have a catalyzing influence on Pakistan, portending a so-called Great Transformation. But there are many unanswered questions regarding the impact of CPEC on Pakistan's social fabric, and on the country's economic and foreign policy. Details about CPEC investment remain opaque with interaction limited to the government-to-government level.
This conference attempts to shed light on some important aspects of CPEC. We seek engagement with critical issues using innovative theoretical and methodological approaches, evaluating CPEC nuances from the Chinese and Pakistani, regional and local perspectives. In order to dissect the challenges and opportunities arising from CPEC, the conference is articulated around thematic panels that reflect some of the key issue areas related to the development of the economic corridor.