4,693 metres above sea level in the Karakoram Mountains on Pakistan’s northern border with the China southwestern region of Xinjiang. It is called Khunjerab Pass, with an international border gate. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the single largest project ever in Pakistan aim of which is to create sea-land transport connections between Gwadar and Kashgar. CPEC corridor will create the shortest access to sea for country’s northwestern region of Pakistan and China, as well as for its broader regional and global importance, this project becomes a reality.
Pakistan has a massive new network of roads, highways, railways and pipelines. The road will cover approximately 3,000 kilometers from Gwadar to Kashgar. The internal motorway is also a part of this project, about 1100 kilometers long from Lahore to Karachi, in addition to the Karakorum Highway from Kashgar via Khunjerab Pass to Islamabad. This is by far the largest infrastructural project ever in the history of Pakistan. Several projects are already under way and are expected to complete in 2018, with the short-term plan of CPEC to be completed by 2020, the mid-term by 2025 and long-term by 2030.
Through CPEC, the Government of Pakistan has been able to address the critical situation of energy and infrastructure in growth. In 2017, Pakistan had a GDP growth of 5.3 per cent and in 2018 the projections are for 5.8 per cent or near 6 per cent.
Big investments in energy sector are fast start the growth in the economy. CPEC projects have created thousands of jobs and revived construction and power sector industries. CPEC partnerships with multilateral institutions to build regional connectivity projects as regional connectivity & regional peace and prosperity.
CPEC appears to be an absolute development and environment friendly package in energy sector and will be a boost to Pakistan’s economy. CPEC will impact on Pakistan economically, politically and strategically. Economically, in addition to becoming a major trade and transit hub for China & regions its will create 700,000 new jobs. Public-private partnerships and joint ventures between Pakistan and foreign investors.
CPEC, intended to be completed by 2030, is a win-win for both countries. China will save millions of dollars every year by shortening its route for energy imports from the Middle East by about 12,000 km and also gets greater access to the Indian Ocean. On the other hand, Pakistan’s sound infrastructural rail, roads, network, economic development, jobs etc, CPEC is best & good for Gulf, Arab, and Iran. When it’s complete they will also get fruits. Its regional and it makes Pakistan hub of trade. Pakistan is a peace loving country. Pakistani manpower is famous all over the world as it is useful for all regions.
Gwadar port not only provides China with lucrative commercial benefits but also huge strategic and geopolitical advantages. Gwadar will promote the economic development of Pakistan and become a gateway for Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, linking Sri Lanka, Iran and Xinjiang to undertake marine transport.
In Pakistan, provinces like Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which lag far behind Punjab in terms of development, CPEC brings an infrastructural boost in it. When fully functional, it would prove to be a corridor for huge employment opportunities to all sections of society.
CPEC will be a game changer by opening business opportunities for the region’s traders. The people of Pakistan believe that China came to Pakistan’s help when no-one was willing to invest in Pakistan due to security considerations, or due to the negative ratings on Pakistan. CPEC is a very high level of mutual trust, indeed.
The author is available at Twitter: @shahsabg