The Silk Road Economic Belt is becoming increasingly popular in many countries, and for good reason. A large part of China’s Silk Road (and indeed the entire Asian Infrastructure Investment Program) is along the old silk Roads of China. In fact, much of the Indian subcontinent and much of Central Asia are also lined with ancient silk Roads. Therefore, a route through Afghanistan to China is one of the largest trade routes in the world, with goods and products coming from all over the world using the routes to reach their destinations.
But the benefits of the Silk Road aren’t just limited to China and India. Many other countries in Central Asia have become major players in the global economy through the boom in the multi-country trading that the belt brings. One of these countries is Pakistan. After decades of tension with India, Pakistan is finally looking to the East for help. The country’s economy is in desperate need of a boost, so the recent declaration by the government there to join the economic belt may well spark a flurry of action from other South Asian countries as well.
For Pakistan, joining the economic belt would mean potentially billions of dollars in exports and income. There are many reasons why Pakistan would want to participate in this trading endeavor. One is the natural geography of South Asia. All of the countries along the border have a coastline and many countries in this region have similar arid climates with heavy rainfalls. This makes sea freight a logical option Silk Road economic belt.
Another reason why Pakistan would like to become a part of this trading zone is because it would be a logical route for supplies into and from the Middle East. Both China and India make use of sea transport to get products to their destinations. If both these nations could join the economic belt, then the flow of goods through the route would increase dramatically, and this means more income for Pakistan. Just like India, other countries like Pakistan would also benefit from the increase in trade, making it possible to provide better living standards for their people.
The Middle East is becoming increasingly stable and secure. Both India and China are expanding and move up on the regional power ladder. This means that they have more influence over their neighbors than ever before. With China being the largest country in the world, this would give India an equal or greater amount of leverage. However, there are many problems that would need to be sorted out before such a scenario can realistically work, and working through the Middle East would make that process much smoother.
Another reason why India and other countries like Pakistan would like to be included in the Silk Road Economic Belt is because the two countries share a lot of resources. These resources include petroleum, gas, and electricity. With both these sources being easily obtainable, the countries find that this is a great way to promote trade and commerce between them. Additionally, becoming a member of the economic belt would allow them to keep their stable neighbor China happy.
In order for a country to join this giant trading endeavor, it has to have its own currency. For instance, if a country like Pakistan wants to join the belt, it needs to adopt the convertible currency, the rupee. Unlike the dollar, the rupee is worth more on the world market. Like India, other countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and China also want to be included in this trade agreement. Therefore, the countries involved in the Silk Road Economic Belt have an incentive to join the talks.
While the economic belt was designed for boosting trade between countries, it is actually a huge mistake. First, the negotiation process is a lot harder than any other trade negotiations. Secondly, this agreement will cause corruption in the government, which is not good for the country. This trade and commerce scheme is not designed for the long term. Therefore, it is a real threat to the countries involved and a complete nightmare for consumers in the United States and around the world.