China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Engine of Growth
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a framework of regional connectivity. CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic, and the region. The enhancement of geographical linkages having improved road, rail and air transportation system with frequent and free exchanges of growth and people to people contact, enhancing understanding through academic, cultural and regional knowledge and culture, activity of higher volume of flow of trade and businesses, producing and moving energy to have more optimal businesses and enhancement of co-operation by win-win model will result in well connected, integrated region of shared destiny, harmony and development.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is journey towards economic regionalization in the globalized world. It founded peace, development, and win-win model for all of them. Prime Minister of Pakistan during his recent visit to Sri Lanka invited Sri Lanka to participate in CPEC.
To improve the lives of people of Pakistan and China by building an economic corridor promoting bilateral connectivity, construction, explore potential bilateral investment, economic and trade, logistics and people to people contact for regional connectivity. It includes:
- Integrated Transport & IT systems including Road, Rail, Port, Air and Data Communication Channels
- Energy Cooperation
- Spatial Layout, Functional Zones, Industries and Industrial Parks
- Agricultural Development
- Socio-Economic Development (Poverty Alleviation, Medical Treatment, Education, Water Supply, Vocational Training)
- Tourism Cooperation & People to People Communication
- Cooperation in Livelihood Areas
- Financial Cooperation
- Human Resource Development
CPEC is not the name of a single route or alignment, rather it is a comprehensive package of cooperative initiatives and projects encompassing regional connectivity, information network infrastructure, energy cooperation, industries and industrial parks, agricultural development and poverty alleviation, tourism, financial cooperation as well as livelihood improvement including municipal infrastructure, education, public health and people-to people communication which will result in thousands of new ventures and millions of jobs in every part of country. The ultimate objective is peace, prosperity and well-being of the people of the two countries, the region and the world.
The development of transport infrastructure under CPEC is primarily meant to eliminate connectivity bottlenecks in order to ensure seamless connectivity across the two countries and region at large. Roads are imperative for development of national economy. Improved transport infrastructure will lead to economic growth as it links up markets, enhances trade and integrates the supply chains. Given this, development of roads network under CPEC will reap mutual dividends and benefits for Pakistan and China. Pakistan will be able to utilize the road network for connecting to regional markets that will boost our trade and thereby lead to enhanced economic growth. The approved projects in the 6th JCC will further augment the inter-provincial connectivity.
Energy sector projects form a major chunk of CPEC projects. Currently, 23 energy projects are under implementation and Pakistan’s current energy generating capacity is 24,830 MW. Energy generation will be a major focus of the CPEC project, with approximately $33 billion expected to be invested in this sector to support the industrial developments and ensure revival of the existing Industrial infrastructure.
With development of transport infrastructure and completion of energy projects in early harvest phase, CPEC has entered a critical phase of Industrial Development. Industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan will provide excellent opportunity for Pakistan to strengthen industrial capability and national domestic economy. In order to achieve the vision of economic, structural transformation and sustainable growth, it is being endeavored to work on the Industrial Cooperation under CPEC by developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and attracting foreign investors. Currently, 9 potential sites in all provinces including AJK, GB and FATA have been approved. Each economic zone will target specific products and services, based on the availability of local raw material, workforce and other such factors.
While planning and development of SEZs is underway, it is pertinent to understand that SEZs will provide equal business opportunities for all domestic and foreign investors. Business opportunities resulting from CPEC will be equally available to all Pakistani businessmen, Chinese businessmen, enterprises, and foreign investors from other countries, either separately or in joint ventures depending on nature of investment.
All in all, CPEC will integrate Pakistan with the region as well as with rest of the world. The increase in trade, investment and financial flows would bring peace and prosperity to the region through enhancement in the competitiveness of the economy, and contribute to reducing regional disparity and social inequality. We must capture this window of opportunity and deny the false propaganda being harnessed by the foes.
Additionally, Gwadar port has become a lynchpin of CPEC success. Gwadar is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the western province of Balochistan. It is about 533 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Straits of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf. It will transform Pakistan’s geo-strategic and geo-economic standing in the region. Developing Gwadar will provide tremendous economic opportunities as well as significantly help to establish peace in the area. With work on the East Bay express way, new Gwadar Airport and the 300 MW Power Plant commencing soon the overall employment ratio in the region will transform for better.
We must remember that denying the truth does not change the facts and the fact is that CPEC is truly a game changer.