The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can be described as a bouquet of projects, which is presently under the construction at a cost of approximately $46 billion. The project aims to improve the infrastructure of Pakistan, and deepen the ties between China and Pakistan. Nevertheless, instead of gloating with joy, we at BizUpdates evaluated the imperatives of this big investment.
Many analysts believe that CPEC will prove to be an important knitting-factor between China and Pakistan, who share a history of congenial relationship for the last six decades. In the past 69 years, both countries have successfully managed to maintain strong bilateral trade and economic collaboration. As we all know that China is the biggest trade partner of Pakistan and CPEC has further enhanced the lucrative economic cooperation between the two nations.
If realized, China has made its biggest investment for economic development of another nation. Hence, it is pretty obvious that CPEC is of great economic and strategic importance for both nations. In case you’re wondering, the project will create approximately two million jobs and will help in accelerating the economic growth of Pakistan by 2.5%.
Moreover, the project will bring countless economic opportunities not only to Pakistan, but it will enable China to connect directly with many markets in Asia, Europe and beyond. For those who are not aware, almost 80% of China’s oil is being transported from the Strait of Malacca to Shanghai covering an approximate distance of 16,000 km. However, once the project is finished, the distance will reduce to 500 km.
As part of the project, a 1,100 km long motorway will be constructed between Karachi and Lahore, while the Karakoram Highway between the Chinese and Rawalpindi borders will be reconstructed. In addition, the main railway line between Karachi and Peshawar will be upgraded. Railway network of Pakistan will also be extended to connect to China’s Southern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar.
Apart from this, the region of Baltistan is famous for exporting fresh fruits and analysts believe that CPEC will be a game changer for the region, as it will create countless business opportunities for the traders. Presently, fruits from Baltistan are being transported to Dubai via air-cargo, and it would be much cheaper and faster if fruits could be sent by road to China via Xinjiang.
Tourism industry of Pakistan is not doing well, however, it is believed that CPEC will also boost the tourism industry. Pakistan is blessed with many tourist spots, such as K-2 and Nanga Parbat. Pakistan is considered as a paradise for adrenaline junkies and mountaineers.
Interestingly, the most attractive part of this project is that it will provide electricity to energy-thirsty Pakistan. The project will add 10,400 megawatts of electricity at a total cost of $15.5 billion by the end of next fiscal year. After FY18, 6,600 megawatts will be added to Pakistan’s electricity output at an additional cost of $18.3 billion.
CPEC is a potential-rich project which carries huge economic benefits for the people of Pakistan and the region. According to recent estimates, CPEC will serve three billion people and thus will create a huge economic bloc in the region. Upon completion of CPEC, Pakistan will become a connecting bridge to three engines of growth including China, Central Asia, and South Asia.
Completion of CPEC is not going to be easy, because it has attracted several international conspiracies against which it must be guarded. Economic dividends of this project are going to be so high that once this project is in full-operational mode even our hostile neighbor India would ultimately join the club for greater economic benefits.