CPEC, A Pilot Project to overhaul the Worsened Economy

By: Malik  Aslam Awan


Primary objective of CPEC is to construct a road from China to Gawadar and within the Pakistan a network of roads having connectivity with the main corridor – from China to Gawadar – as well as Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to boost economic activities and strengthen the economy of Pakistan and boost trade activities with China and other countries of the world.  Having realized the Gawadar’s strategic importance Pakistan purchased it from Oman for 5.5 million U.S. Dollars, and now the Gawadar has assumed the status of economic hub for the two countries, China and Pakistan and in future will have the status of international sea port, yielding mammoth incentives and uncountable earnings for Pakistan as well as China.

Power Sector in Pakistan is a widely criticized subject and moot point since more than one and half decade.  The wheel of economy goes fast with power supply ratio, power shortage stalls the wheel of progress of any country and sufficient power supply is the guarantee of stabilized economy.

CPEC taking initiative in 2013 was launched on April 20, 2015 when Chinese President XI jin ping and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) valued at $ 46 billion.  The objective of CPEC is mainly to transform Pakistan economy, by modernizing its road, rail and energy, air and transportation systems and to connect deep sea Pakistani points of Gawadar and Karachi to China.  Xinjiang province and beyond overland routes.  Xinjiang borders the countries of Mangolia, Russia Kazakhistan, Kyragyzstan, Tajikistan.  Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and ancient silk route ran through its territory.

CPEC project aims at expanding and upgrading road network, in provinces of Pakistan, Balochistan Khyber Pukhtun Khawa (KPK) and Western Punjab.  Ground breaking ceremony for the Project took place on 17th May 2016.  Road map of CPEC is KPK, Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh.  Main objective of CPEC is to upgrade the living standard of the citizens of China and Pakistan by building an economic corridor linkage, connectivity between the two countries.  Exploring potentials of bilateral investment is amongst the prime objectives of the grand project.  CPEC intends to promote people to people contacts, promote cultural environment, explore new avenues of Joint Ventures aimed at the amelioration of both the countries.  In consideration of the Industries, industrial zones, I.T. Systems, Data communications Energy Cooperation, people to people communication, cooperation in livestock areas, financial cooperation, Human resource development.

Sahiwal power producing unit, Hubco, Engro are some instances of Pak China Cooperation C-PEC is grossly estimated at yielding 1.5 billion U.S. Dollars to 1.9 Billion dollars in 2019 ranging uptil 5 billion U.S. Dollars till 2022, such a mammoth amount of earning may change the lives and living standards of citizens of Pakistan.  CPEC being the major pilot project primarily aims at belt and road initiative encompassing other potential avenues of bilateral cooperation ranging from every nook and corner of Pakistan.

Energy sector in Pakistan is the most criticized sector, entailing pernicious effects on the economy of the country.  Coal generated, Hydel and CPEC includes collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013.  Vast network of highways and railways to be built under the aegis of the pilot Project and with the passage of time it will span throughout the length and breath of Pakistan.

CPEC is the widely discussed pilot project of Pakistan.  People of Pakistan and other world often inquire, how it would play a significant role in the prosperity and amelioration of the citizens of Pakistan, and have for reaching effects in the stabilization of Pak economy.  It is noteworthy that power sector is the hub of economic growth of every country.  Industry is the prime factor which promote the economy of any country and industry cannot be run without power supply.  CPEC aims specially at cheap power generation and supply to the country.  Gawadar Coal fired power initiative, Engro power, Hubco, Balochistan Power project are aiming at to generate power, by CPEC, and run the wheel of small and big enterprises, projects.

CPEC aims at promoting trade within the borders of Pak-China and outside the borders of both the countries.  Some leading nations of the world have realized the importance of CPEC and are desirous to avail of the benefits of the Great Pilot Plan.  CPEC, importance will soon be realized all around the globe and USA and India who thwarted the CPEC, initiatives since its early stage to make the world believe that it is a Pilot Project by China with the collaboration of Pakistan to boost China’s economy only with the designs to establish economic and strategic hegemony of China all over the world, will sooner or later come to be realized that the pilot project has been engineered not for a hidden, nefarious motive but to stretch connectivity every nook and corner of the country for the purpose of welfare and prosperity of humanity all around the globe.  The time is not too far when every nation and country would realize the potential of CPEC as all embracing and it was the right time initiative by both the countries.  CPEC has not been designed for specific strategic point of view, it is the masterpiece Pilot Project to boost trade within the globe and intended to bring all the countries of the world closer, providing easy access to all participants within the state trade and economic activities.

Diamer Bhasha Dam and Azad Patten Hydel Power Project, will not only help produce cheap and clean energy but also bring thousands of acres of barren Agricultural land under cultivation besides attracting 11 billion foreign investment and producing 6000 MW of electricity, to help boost the mainstream quantum.

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in second phase would promote exports and provide job opportunities to locals.  Materializing special Economic Zones, speedy development of Gawadar port city is under way.  So far 9 out of 17 energy projects have been completed and eight others are under construction to be complete soon.  Coal based power projects as mining is in progress to replace imported coal with indigenous coal.  According to General (R) Asim Bajwa Burhan to Dera Ismail Khan Motorway is near completion while Road Project from D.I.Khan to Zhob is being taken to the joint coordination committee (JCC).  Hoshab Awaran Road work is going to be initiated.  Asim Bajwa said work on three out of nine priority SEZs including Rashakai in KPK.  Allama Iqbal in Punjab and Dhabeji Sindh province is underway.  Chinese companies are showing keen interest in all SEZs.  Chinese companies are, also, showing interest in corporate farming in Pakistan.




PM Imran Khan, Asim Bajwa said, has to collaborate with the provinces for identifying unutilized lands and the lands having low yield which would be used for farming.  Chinese companies would be clubbed with local business houses, which would promote business to business cooperation of two countries.

With the passage of time and completion of ongoing projects, further areas and avenues would be explored, where construction of roads, and SEZs will have potential and feasible to contribute to both China and Pakistan.

Transparency in financial matters is being observed as high time parameter but further steps are required to ensure the lifelong durability of the projects in Pakistan.  It has often been observed that roads get rotten, cracked and bumpy within 1st year of completion and national exchequer had to bear further expenditures for their rehabilitation and reconstruction as the case may be.   It is expected that Pak China expertise would contribute their skills to eradicate the possibility of corruption in the ongoing projects and the projects to be included in later stage and make the Pilot Project (CPEC and other inland projects of Pakistan) a success and glorious example for the world.