China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a $62 billion worth mega economic project that will be developed in four phases. Currently, CPEC is on the brink of completing its first phase and so far, 32 Early Harvest Projects have been completed under CPEC.
CPEC was focused on removing the economic bottlenecks in the first phase of the development process. This included the starving energy sector and poor transportation infrastructure across Pakistan. With a total investment of $25 billion, a lot of substantial work was done. For example, in the transportation sector, 1,544 kilometers of new roads were constructed and 1,456 kilometers of additional roads are under development. These new roads will reduce logistical costs and provide a productive environment to businesses across Pakistan.
Similarly, in the energy sector, 5320 MW of electricity was added to the national grid in the first phase of project CPEC. Furthermore, seven energy projects (with a production capacity of 2844 MW) are under fast-track development. These energy projects will make resolve the energy crisis in Pakistan and provide a springboard for industrial growth.
Some other landmark developments completed during the first phase of CPEC include the cross border optical fiber project which stretches over 820 km linking Khunjrab to Rawalpindi. This will improve internet connectivity in the region. Also, significant progress has been achieved in the development of Gwadar port which is one of the core projects of CPEC.
In total, ten projects concerning the infrastructure and socio-economic development of Gwadar have been completed. This has made the Gwadar port functional for international transit trade. Tax incentives are also in place for the promotion of investment activities in Gwadar. The coastal city is being developed under the Gwadar Master Plan to catch up with the rising trade activities as Gwadar port becomes a trading hub of the region.
Overall, CPEC projects during the first phase of development have improved local transportation infrastructure and power supply. It has also created 75000 direct jobs and contributed to two percent of GDP growth in Pakistan.