Overcoming the darkness of the great havoc caused by bad law and order situation and the political turmoil, Pakistan is now looking forward towards the light- a new era of development in the form of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). CPEC is a compendium of various infrastructure and power generation projects, financed and backed by China which will lead to strengthening of the socio-economic stipulation of Pakistan. It will support the economy of the country by its complex network of enormous trading routes that will attract potential investors and tap various global markets. Moreover, this project will improve the infrastructure and local industry of Pakistan.
The main goals of this corridor are to transform Pakistan’s economy by developing the transportation, energy and telecommunication systems and to develop the trade routes from the deep port of Gwadar to China and beyond. Furthermore, this project will lead to the development of socio-economic condition of Gwadar (including port and city), energy generation in Pakistan by establishing the coal, hydra, wind, solar and LNG transmission plants, improvement of transportation system by developing roads, railway and aviation and industrial development by various projects.
According to Foreign Policy News, recently 10400 MW energy generation projects are completed, and by the end of 2018 these projects will suffice the energy requirements. Also, renewable energy projects are also initiated, like the solar parks in Bahawalpur and UEP wind farms and hydropower projects in Thatta. These environment friendly projects will help to overcome the energy crisis in short period of time. Moreover, these projects will increase local employment and will also improve the industrial sector.
According to a report of Global Times, CPEC can minimize the unemployment in the country by 2.32 million by the end of 2018. Similarly, the survey of Ministry of Planning and Development Pakistan also states that the early projects of the corridor have provided 30,000 direct jobs for the Pakistanis and it is predicted that it shall provide 800,000 in the next 15 years.
CPEC is not an uncharted space for the world. It will globalize the trade hubs of many regions. Many land lock countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan want to be a part of this project. Similarly, Iran also want to come onboard and have signed agreements to cooperate in operation. Above all, the economic partner of China and Pakistan’s friend Saudi Arabia has also expressed desire for a tripartite partnership. The Saudi Arabia investment in Gwadar Mega Oil City being a former member of Belt and Road Initiative (RBI) makes it a strong entrant. Furthermore, the investments initiative of refineries and petrochemical sector in Pakistan will address the longstanding energy crises of the county. Joint collaboration of these countries will result in a better regional prosperity and development.
The complex labyrinth of CPEC needs to be analyzed carefully so that it can benefit the economy of Pakistan in every aspect. In the times of turmoil, CPEC is a blessed opportunity for the country to turn tables and to once again establish its distinguished regional prominence. With all these advancements and projects it is certain that CPEC will generate waves in the world order and increasing the strategic importance of Balochistan as Gwadar is the main component of CPEC. It is now hoped that Balochistan will play its role well in the upcoming changing dynamics of world.