Syed Kamal Hussain Shah
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will pass through the beautiful Gilgit-Baltistan province in the north which will connect Kashgar in China’s western province Xinjiang to rest of the world through Chinese-operated Gwadar port in the country’s south.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a 3,218 kilometer long route, to be built over next several years, consisting of highways, railways and pipelines. The actual estimated cost of the project is expected to be US$75 billion, out of which US$45 billion plus will ensure that the corridor becomes operational by 2020.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is expected to opening doors to immense economic opportunities not only to Pakistan but will physically connect China to its markets in Asia, Europe and beyond. Almost 80% of the China’s oil is currently transported from Strait of Malacca to Shanghai. the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – will result in land and sea routes that will connect countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Gwadar’s potential to be a deep-water sea port would be an advantage to China.
Gwadar Port occupies a great location, according to experts, because its proximity to the Arabian Sea gives China and Central Asian countries access to the Persian Gulf and the markets of the Middle East.
For Pakistan, the combined value of the CPEC’s infrastructure projects would be equivalent to 17 percent of Pakistan’s GDP in 2015, a report by Deloitte predicted. The report estimated that the economic corridor would create some 700,000 direct jobs between 2015 and 2030, and add up to 2.5 percent to the country’s growth rate.
The CPEC project has been divided into phases, the first phase being the completion of Gwadar International Airport and major developments of Gwadar Port. This phase is expected to be completed by the year 2017. The project also includes the expansion of Karakoram Highway- the road that connects China with Pakistan and placement of fiber-optic line ensuring better communication between the two countries .
The region of Baltistan is known for its fresh fruit exports, like cherries, apricot and apples, CPEC will be a game changer by opening business opportunities for the region’s traders. This will provide local traders with an advantage and help them double their sales by tremendous saving in cost of transportation. Presently, fruits are being exported through air-cargo via Dubai it would be faster and cheaper if the same could be sent by road to China via Xinjiang.
The CPEC, some believe, will also boost tourism in the 73,000 square km region. The region is considered to be a mountaineer’s paradise, since it is home to five of the ‘eight-thousands’ (peaks above 8,000 meters), as well as more than 50 mountains over 7,000 meters. It is also home to the world’s second highest peak K2 and the Nanga Parbat
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game-changer for Pakistan. CPEC will bring large opportunities for Pakistan and living standard of people of the country will be improved significantly in near future.According to a report by international rating agency Moody’s, the corridor will boost economic activity in Pakistan.the project will boost economic activities in the entire region.
CPEC projects include roads, power projects, Railway tracks and other economic schemes.CPEC project will help provide jobs to locals.Take agriculture, for instance. Not only will Chinese enterprises provide seeds, fertilizers, pesticide and credit for farms in Pakistan, they will also offer processing facilities.agriculture must make the most of ‘free capital and loans’ from the Chinese ministries as well as China Development Bank.Pakistan has been divided into zones, including specific focus on mineral extractions, potential for chrome ore, and diamonds. One of the zones has been earmarked for textiles, household appliances, and cement.
The writer is a prominent journalist and can be approached at twitter @shahsabg