China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a key project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative via which China aims to engage with more than sixty countries across the globe for trade. CPEC is a land corridor that will connect China with Gwadar port in Balochistan through a network of roads, highways, railways, pipelines, grids, and fiber optics. The project was launched in 2015 initially with an economic worth of $46 billion which has now been extended up to $62billion. Under CPEC, China has promised to invest in five major areas across Pakistan that comprise energy sector, development of infrastructure, development of Gwadar port, industrial sector, and other mutually agreed areas like cooperation in the educational sector and agriculture, etc. during a period of 15 years lasting from 2015 to 2030 in four phases which are as follows:
- Early Harvest Projects related to Energy Sector (2015-2019)
- Short Term Projects related to Roads, Gwadar’s Development, Optic fiber network and Hydel, coal mining and power projects (2019-2022)
- Medium Term Projects related to Railways and Industrial zones (2022-2025)
- Long Term Projects related to Industrial zones, Agriculture, Tourism, etc. (2025-2030)
It has been six years since the launch of CPEC. The project has successfully passed through its first phase in which the major focus remained on the development of the infrastructure and energy sector. Currently, it has almost stepped into its second phase which is more focused on the socio-economic development of Pakistan. The project is considered to be a game-changer for Pakistan once it is completed.
Let’s explore the prospects of CPEC for Pakistan.
- CPEC will make Pakistan self-sufficient in the Energy sector
For a long time, Pakistan has been facing a severe energy crisis and this has been negatively affecting the country’s economy. CPEC has turned out to be a boon for Pakistan’s energy sector as for the first time Pakistan has been able to overcome its energy deficits. In the overall CPEC investments, a major chunk had been set aside for the energy sector. In the first phase, massive investments were made in the energy projects including coal, solar, hydroelectric, LNG and power transmission. Reportedly, these projects will generate approximately 17,000 megawatts of energy and, until now, through the successful completion of some of the energy projects, 10,000 megawatts have already been added to the national grid. This will certainly help generate economic activities.
- CPEC will equip Pakistan with advanced infrastructure for industrial growth
No country can thrive industrially until and unless it has a well-developed infrastructure. A good infrastructure paves the way for industrialization to grow smoothly. In CPEC, massive investments have been made to develop infrastructure across Pakistan. Three highway routes are under construction which comprises the Eastern route passing through Punjab and Sindh, the Western route passing through Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Central route crossing over the whole country. These routes will not only improve the pace of coordination among provinces in Pakistan but will also create job opportunities as the government intends to create industrial parks and economic zones in the cities along the CPEC routes. Moreover, the development of physical infrastructure will help connect less developed areas in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh with major cities and will help promote urbanization across Pakistan.
- CPEC will make Pakistan a hub for global trade
One of the core projects of CPEC is the development of Gwadar port. Located at the mouth of International Sea Lines of Communication, Gwadar port has a lot of significance. It provides the shortest route to China to access the international market. Once CPEC is actualized, this will make Pakistan a hub for trade between China and the rest of the world. As per Gwadar Master Plan, a lot of development projects are underway in Gwadar so that the coastal city can be prepared to deal effectively with the global trade.
- CPEC will result in the socio-economic development of Pakistan
CPEC is a god-send for Pakistan. It not only carries a promise for economic uplift of Pakistan but it will also result in the social uplift of Pakistan. Until now, the project has created 75,000 jobs for Pakistanis in various sectors. Moreover, it’s turning out to be a great source of learning for Pakistanis. As part of CPEC, a lot of Pakistanis are getting a chance to work with Chinese companies. The knowledge, skills, and technology exchange in various fields that CPEC is bringing in its lap will certainly result in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.
- CPEC is a sign of hope for the real estate sector in Pakistan
CPEC is considered to inspire the real estate sector in Pakistan. The massive investments being made in infrastructure development across Pakistan and in the urbanization of less developed areas have encouraged land developers in the real estate sector to invest. A clear example is Gwadar where, because of CPEC’s developments, property dealers across Pakistan are keen to invest in Gwadar real estate. CPEC has made an investment in Gwadar a lucrative transaction and many real estate agencies that had been reluctant to invest in the real estate sector across Pakistan because of a dip in the property market for quite some time have come forward to invest in Gwadar’s properties.
Rafi Group is one of the leading land developers across Pakistan that pioneered investing in Gwadar properties. The company launched Green Palms Housing Project Gwadar Gwadar in 2016. It’s considered to be the largest private housing project in Gwadar that is stretched over 1065 acres. The housing project offers residential and commercial plots for investment in Gwadar. Rafi Group is committed to playing a leading a play a leading role in the development of Gwadar.
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