Pakistan is a developing country and most of our projects remain in papers only because of our own mistakes. Leaders don’t want to understand the importance of development so they usually criticize and then projects become controversial. A similar attempt is being made regarding China Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) so there is a need to know what is CPEC.
Basically, China Pak Economic Corridor is a fusion of multiple developments in the global, regional, bilateral and domestic contexts. Pakistan’s prosperity is no more a long journey as the current leadership is working diligently on such projects whose outcomes would be visible and bright in a short period of time. CPEC is a priority part of “One Belt, One Road Vision” of China which is development strategy and framework of roads, railways, oil & gas pipelines and sea routes stretching from China to Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.
CPEC is a multi-billion mega development project which will connect Kasghar in China with Gwadar port in Pakistan through a network of roadways, railways, pipelines and energy infrastructures. Gwadar is the centerpiece of Pak-China cooperation and a network of 3000 KM road and railway connecting Kasghar in North Western China with Gwadar Port of Pakistan situated in Balochistan. The mega project has many sub-projects which will cost approximately $46 billion, out of which USD 34 billion are currently allocated to energy sector and 11 billion for communication and infrastructure. To exactly understand how much big is the volume of this investment see this:
The value of projects under CPEC would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970, and would be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan’s 2015 gross domestic product.
Projects in Gawadar include International Airport, Technical Vocational Center, Fresh water treatment plant, Hospital and Breakwaters. China will grant Pakistan $230 million to construct a new international airport in Gwadar which is to be operational by December 2017. The provincial government of Baluchistan has set aside 4000 acres for the construction of the new $230 million Gwadar International Airport which will require an estimated 30 months for construction. The city of Gwadar is further being developed by the construction of a 300MW coal power plant
Plans for Gwadar city also include construction of the East Bay Expressway – a 19 kilometer controlled-access road that will connect Gwadar Port to the Makran Coastal Highway.
In fact CPEC project is not an economic aid given to Pakistan but it is an investment that will benefit not only Pakistan but will help create a regional business ecology with Pakistan as an important part of it. It has been said that if potential of CPEC is utilized properly it can add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country’s annual economic growth.
Here is what some key financial institutions say about CPEC:
Moody’s Investors Service has described the project as a “credit positive” for Pakistan
The Asian Development Bank stated:
“CPEC will connect economic agents along a defined geography. It will provide connection between economic nodes or hubs, centered on urban landscapes, in which large amount of economic resources and actors are concentrated. They link the supply and demand sides of markets.”
In short; this is a game changer Pakistan needed after all the years of turmoil. We are ready to be known as regional trade power. Our international face will not be terror, war and instability but will be prosperity, peace and forward thinking. This project will be a source of national pride and will not be associated to any area, ethnicity or region but will be the name of new #BrandPakistan.