Current Status of Major Energy Projects for Pak-China Economic Corridor (CPEC)
By Arfa Zahid
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is regional connectivity. The mega project will not only benefit Pakistan but also Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republic, and the region. Both China and Pakistan are working with great enthusiasm to build the path of progress. China has been investing 46.5 billion dollars in establishing new energy resources in Pakistan to run this linkage between Kashgar and Gwadar smoothly. This will end a continuous load shedding in Pakistan. The main goal of this project is to expand trade relations of China Pakistan with other countries and stabilize the economy of Pakistan and popularize the tourist sights in Pakistan.
The CPEC project faced a slow down in work due to the pandemic environment in the world. Another reason for this project to slow down is security reasons. Authorities had to stop work because of so much roar from Baloch nationalists in that region, they opposed this CPEC project in their province. This slow progress in CPEC has given the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N party a weapon again the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government. They criticize the current government for being responsible for stalled-out projects. On 10th March 2022, the signing ceremony of 1.2 million gallons per day of water treatment plant took place in China Business center. It is granted by China to the people of Gwadar. In February Prime Minister Imran Khan held a series of meetings with the leaders of China’s leading State-owned private companies in Beijing. The Corporate leaders briefed Imran Khan on the progress of the ongoing projects in Pakistan. It is expected that the CPEC project will be completed in 2023 March and will be operational. Many doors of opportunities and employment will be opened for the Pakistanis. 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%.Specifically, 5,000 jobs have been formed at Port Qassim 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.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.$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.