For over seven decades, Pakistan and China have had a friendly and supportive relationship. In recent years the close ties between the two countries have resulted in an agreement that will be extremely beneficial to both. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is the flagship project of the $5 trillion investment programme that is One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and it has been informally discussed by the Chinese and Pakistani officials for the last 2 decades. Named “The Project of the Century” by China’s President Xi, it has finally started to catch its roots on the soil of Pakistan and promises a bright future not just for the people of China but also Pakistan.
Below we celebrate the ten benefits of CPEC and pull out the key assets that will help Pakistan, China and that part of the world, continue to grow and development.
1. Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park Bahawalpur – The Largest Solar Power Plant: The 100MW Solar Power Park in Bahawalpur has generated not just jobs but the cleanest and the most reliable source of energy to Pakistan, thanks to the collaboration of the governments of China and Pakistan. This unique solar project, is the biggest solar producer in Pakistan and has surpassed its intended energy production by 4.42 % in 2015-2016 and 5.48 % in 2016-2017 .
2. $4.8 Billion is being spent by China in developing Gwadar to be the busiest shipping port in South Asia by 2022: Gwadar has become a major global port city and will be the gateway of trade for the continent, linking China with markets in Central and South Asia. Over 500,000 professionals are expected in the city by 2023.
3. Lahore Line Metro Train: Lahore Line Metro Train promises to connect the vast city of Lahore from one end of the city to the other end. A One-Of-A-Kind project, funded by China, this train line will drastically improve Pakistan’s infrastructure and will cater to 250,000 passengers on a daily basis. The train was recently trialed and is due to be completed in a matter of months.
4. 2,000 km of rail and road networks connecting Kashgar, China to Gwadar, Pakistan: CPEC solely focuses on the infrastructure of Pakistan from North to South along the economic corridor. The chains of roads and rail networks ensure both the investors and the public a route to communicate more efficiently and it is expected that both countries will see economic benefits. It is estimated that around $2-2.5 billion revenues per year could be added to the economy of Pakistan within a few years.
5. 3000 locals were hired by Sahiwal coal-fired power plant: Coordinated by the Ministry of Water and Power of Pakistan, Sahiwal’s Coal Fired Power Plant promises to deliver 1.3MW of energy and was completed in 2017, a landmark in the history of Pakistan and China relationships.
6. $35 Billion is being spent by China to construct 19 power plants: Out of the $46 billion, $35 billion is being invested by Chinese firms and companies. This huge investment promises to bring 12,114MW of energy to Pakistan. Given the current crisis of Pakistan’s energy deficits, this gigantic investment promises to deliver Pakistan all its energy crisis solutions in a very short span of time.
7. 30,000 direct job opportunities have been created in power and infrastructure sectors for Pakistanis: Specifically, 5,000 jobs have been formed at Port Qasim Coal Power Project and It is estimated that around 800,000 employment opportunities will be available in the next two decades, owing to the diversity and nature of the ever-expanding projects and investments of CPEC.
8. Karakoram Highway Phase 2: The phase 2 of Karakoram highway connects Thakot and Havelian in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in a 120km highway and is already under construction. The road is considered to be a major highway that would establish a foundation of networks from the north to the south. The project is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2020. The financial estimate of this project is $1.36 Billion .
9. Special economic zones where companies can enjoy business incentives and tax holidays: to facilitate rapid commercial and economic development and encourage investment from industries around the world, Pakistan promises to set up special economic zones. These zones can be found on the outskirts of large cities in Pakistan such as Faisalabad, Islamabad, Mirpur, Nowshera, Karachi, and Gilgit.
10. 2.5% projected annual growth for Pakistan via CPEC: The projects being undertaken in CPEC are promising to help boost the GDP of Pakistan to 7.5% . It has been estimated the introduction of CPEC in Pakistan is going to give a straight boost of 2.5% to the current GDP of 5%.
Hussain, Khurram (2 January 2017) 2016: The Year Of CPEC
Quaid e Azam Solar Power (Pvt) Ltd. – QASP
Chinese Firms Invest $35 Billion in 19 CPEC Power Projects
KKH Phase II (Thakot – Havelian Section)
CPEC To Boost Pakistan GDP Growth To 7.5%