CPEC and Regional Connectivity: Navigating the South Asian Politics

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Abstract

New dynamics of competition between countries are emerging in the quest for promoting regional connectivity. Several economic corridor projects are being pushed by different countries in South Asia to advance their respective interests. Pakistan and China are promoting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a north-south trade and transit corridor for enhancing connectivity and regional integration. Regional countries, in response, are advancing separate connectivity projects. The challenge for Pakistan is to operationalise the CPEC, while being cognisant of markets present across the eastern and western frontiers. The regional connectivity agenda of the South Asian states and the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) provides opportunities for establishing new patterns of economic and trade cooperation in the region.

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