CPEC recognized by WB as offering enormous opportunities to Pakistan

By Yasir Habib Khan | Gwadar Pro Mar 7, 2023

Editor's Note: The author is Yasir Habib Khan, President of the Institute of International Relations and Media Research (IIRMR). The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has proved itself as a vital economic tonic to Pakistan by administrating those development booster shots that are revamping its infrastructure, energy, export, trade, transportation, agriculture, employment, medicine, IT, mobile technology and many more.

With these booster shots, during the last 10 years, more than 30 projects generating direct and indirect 200,000 jobs have been completed and more are in different phases of development, setting a tone for sustainable economic progress. Besides, more than 6,000 MW of electricity has been injected into the national grid, 809 kilometers of highway have been built and 886 kilometers of transmission lines have been installed first time in the history of Pakistan.

CPEC has also earned recognition from the World Bank Report entitled “The Web of Transport Corridors in South Asia”.

“With investments in road, railways and ports, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) offers enormous potential for Pakistan to boost its economy, reduce poverty, spread benefits widely and help those likely to be affected by the new trade route, the World Bank Report says.

CPEC has to be analyzed as per its impacts and performance setting aside traditional prejudices. One thing that must be kept in mind by doomsayers is that CPEC is not a remedy for governance weaknesses, system hiccups, political instability, bureaucratic red-tapism, and corruption. Such hideous dynamics are the creeping root cause behind Pakistan’s limping economy.

Since its inception ten years ago, CPEC has transformed Pakistan’s infrastructural landscape. According to the Ministry of Energy, by October 2022, 11 projects with a total capacity of over 6,370 MW have been completed, and an HVDC Transmission Line of 880 km has been constructed. Three more projects with a capacity of around 1,200 MW are expected to be completed within 2023-24. Most recently, the 1,320 MW Thar Coal Block-I has started commercial operations.

In addition to the completed projects under CPEC, several other projects are under process, which will further boost Pakistan's energy infrastructure. The 884MW Suki Kinari Hydropower Project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has already completed 70% of the work. The Kohala Hydropower Project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, with a capacity of 1,124 MW, the Azad Pattan Hydropower Project with a capacity of 700.7 MW, and the Cacho Wind Power Project with a capacity of 50 MW are also under process. The Western Energy (Pvt.) Ltd. Wind Power Project is another project in process, with a capacity of 50 MW. These projects will help increase the country's renewable energy capacity, providing clean and cheap energy to the people. Once completed, these projects will add a significant amount of electricity to the national grid, reducing the country's dependence on imported fuel.

Moreover, CPEC has also helped Pakistan upgrade its transportation infrastructure. The Peshawar-Karachi Motorway (Multan-Sukkur Section), Hakla - D.I Khan Motorway, and the Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore are some of the infrastructure projects completed under CPEC. The KKH Phase II (Havelian - Thakot Section) has also been completed, which has received international recognition.

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