*ISLAMABAD - The Western and Eastern routes of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor will be completed by next year, said the Project Director of CPEC , Ministry of Planning, Hassan Daud Butt.*
He, in an interview with the state-run wire service, told that in the first phase, under CPEC , projects of energy and infrastructure were being executed while in the second phase work on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be started.
He said as many as nine SEZs at various locations across the country had been brought under CPEC in which provincial governments as well as the private sector entrepreneurs were taking keen interest.
He said with the establishment of SEZs, new industrial units would be installed in the country which would help increase in the trade activities across the country.
Hassan Butt said after completion of the CPEC projects, a new era of development would start in the country and the fate of the people of Pakistan would also be changed.
He maintained that the CPEC would also help further increase in bilateral relations in various sectors including trade, education, and other social sectors.
In April 2015, China had announced mega development projects in Pakistan worth $46-billion under CPEC project, which focuses on road building and energy infrastructure to end chronic power shortages in Pakistan and to link China’s landlocked north-west with the deep-water port Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.
The plan, which would eclipse U.S. spending in Pakistan over the last decade or so, is part of China’s aim to forge “Silk Road” land and sea ties to markets in the Middle East and Europe.
The two sides had also agreed to strengthen cooperation in civil nuclear energy, space and maritime technology, counter-terrorism and defense.
Meanwhile China will also expand industrial capacity cooperation in diverse sectors including chemical, pharmaceutical, engineering, agro, iron and steel. The two countries will also increase exploration and development of resources.
Under CPEC , a number of new economic zones will be created along the corridor.