RECENTLY President Donald Trump offered to buy Greenland — an Arctic island with harsh living conditions. The news seemed like a joke and even the Denmark president took a day to realise that Trump was not joking before Denmark refused to sell the island.
The strategic importance of Greenland may not be clear to many people, ironically not even to Denmark. Recently, Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear power plant because it is preparing to establish a new shipping route across the Arctic which will be the shortest shipping distance from China/Japan to Europe.
With global warming increasing, the Arctic polar ice has been melting. This allows special ships to cut a shipping route across the ice. Russia will be the owner of the new shipping route and is setting up the required facilities, while the US has been rushing to establish its ports.
This new shipping route will cut into the revenue of many countries including Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc. Pakistan can use this opportunity to entice these nations to invest in the extension of China Pakistan Economic Corridor trade route to Africa via Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and then to Eritrea in Africa.
As all the trade will have to pass through CPEC, Pakistan could earn additional revenue from African trade.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2019