PhD Thesis Presentation
China Pakistan Economic Corridor: Is Pakistan Ready for Technology Catchup?
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the ‘flagship’ project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It, in fact, predates the BRI as it was finalized in July 2013, two months before Xi Jinping announced the BRI. To date it remains the biggest project of the BRI in terms of financial outlay and scope. US$ 62 billion worth of energy, infrastructure and industrial projects have been planned across Pakistan. These are expected to complete by 2030. The supporters of the CPEC call it a ‘game changer’ and its critics label it as the ‘New East India Company.’ This research study ascertains the reality of the CPEC through a qualitative approach by operationalizing these rhetorical phrases and developing a theory about it.
This study also identifies a big opportunity for Pakistan to catch up in the shape of the special economic zones being established across the country under the CPEC’s industrial cooperation component. To capitalize on this opportunity this study makes use of the popular National Innovation System (NIS) approach for describing the NIS of Pakistan and prescribing policy measures for improving its functioning.
Finally, this study tests a new theory in the science, technology, and innovation scholarship – the theory of creative insecurity – in Pakistan for proposing revisions to it and identifying those variables which have hampered the technological progress of Pakistan from the perspective of its relative threat balance and not from the perspective of domestic institutions and policies.