S:     Have you seen my lighter? It is the one with Chinese written all over it, or being more specific, Mandarin.

A:     I think your confusing yours with mine, mine is the red one, with Chinese symbols and a large apple logo on it.

S:     No, mine has just the writing. Come to think of it since when did all our lighters start having Chinese written on them? What happened to the plain transparent ones?

A:     They are still here, some shops still sell them; my local pan shop still has the transparent ones. And to answer your question, which shouldn’t need much answering, this is the by product of our good relations with China. Chinese products. Expect more of them, once our Pakistan China Economic Corridor is completed, you won’t find a lighter with English written on it for kilometres.

S:     The tragedy is that those ‘English’ lighters are actually made here, in Pakistan. We are all waxing lyrical about this deal with China but have we really considered the consequences? China can cheaply, quickly and effectively mass produce all manner of products, all major manufacturers have relocated there, and so have the minor ones. How can local manufacturers compete when our markets our flooded with cheap goods? If they try to match the prices, they’ll go bankrupt.

A:     Cheap goods are a tragedy? You never disappoint me with your elitist remarks. While you wanted to enjoy reading English as you light your cigarette, the common man just wants a cheap lighter. As well as so many other affordable things that trade with China will bring us. As for the manufacturers, they must innovate or perish, that is how capitalism works. In fact competition will make our businessmen better.

S:     Don’t give me hollow slogans, competition helps but only if the contenders are evenly matched. How can local producers compete with the Chinese powerhouse, they will perish, taking our economy with them. Tell me Mr Capitalism, where are the local fast food chains that were supposed to rival Mcdonalds? Where are the local cars that are supposed to compete with Mercedes?