Pakistan’s economy starts to reap the benefits of CPEC
ISLAMABAD: Economic experts claimed that Pakistan’s various sectors are ready to receive maximum benefits from China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ( CPEC) link project.
According to political economists, many sectors will benefit from the project. In addition to the economic corridor, CPEC in Pakistan will include energy projects, infrastructure development, industrialization, and the expansion and improvement of Gwadar Port. The project has great potentials for Pakistan in both economic and regional domains.
They said that the goal of CPEC is both to transform Pakistan’s economy—by modernizing its road, rail, air, and energy transportation systems—and to connect the deep-sea Pakistani ports of Gwadar and Karachi to China’s Xinjiang province and beyond by overland routes.
Expert Nasreen Khalid said that the features of CPEC included integrated Transport & IT systems including Road, Rail, Port, Air, and Data Communication Channels, Energy Cooperation, Spatial Layout, Functional Zones, Industries, and Industrial Parks and Agricultural Development.
She said that various studies highlighted the importance of CPEC for Pakistan and its role in the development quest of Pakistan. CPEC presents multidimensional benefits for Pakistan. It has been predicted that there would be an increase of 6.43 percent in national GDP due to transport infrastructure.
She said that better transport infrastructure would also help Pakistan increase trade. It has forecast that Pakistan’s trade can increase by 9.8 percent if Pakistan implements reforms and transport infrastructure under CPEC. It would be a huge contribution, keeping in mind the existing situation of trade.
Another expert Usman Naeem said that the Gwadar Port has already been operationalized and has started to deliver benefits to the people of Balochistan. The port has introduced multidimensional benefits for the province and will turn Gwadar city into a hub for regional connectivity.
He added transit trade through Gwadar will bring new opportunities for livelihoods for local people and the province. It will also help enhance trade with Afghanistan, especially from the Balochistan border.
He said that Chinese companies are also contributing to local development. For example, COPHC, the executing agency for the Gwadar Port, has created more than 4000 jobs during the last five years in Balochistan. COPHC is also contributing to the education sector. It has built a school in one of the most backward areas of the country, he added.