Time is changing whereas the world is transforming, and Asia remains at the epicenter of 21st century’s transformation. Quite evidently, the Centre of economic power is shifting from West to the East.
In this regard, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provides Pakistan and surrounding countries a great opportunity by giving an integrated platform to around 3 Billion people in Central Asia, Far East, South Asia, Middle East and Africa.
BRI total trade is estimated between $4 Trillion to $8 Trillion. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of the BRI and its vision. Furthermore, CPEC is expected to alter the geopolitical and strategic landscape of Asia and has enormous potential to reshape the economic outlook of regional states.
CPEC provides opportunity for Pakistan to become a logistic and economic hub for South Asia, Central and Western Asia, Middle East and Western China. Additionally, through CPEC, a small economy like Pakistan is being physically connected with one of the world’s largest economy.
The importance of CPEC project can be highlighted by the fact that this project is game changer for Pakistan. Since 1951, Pak- China has very friendly, deep rooted, time tested and ever-growing relations with each other and today, close economic cooperation is the most recent development in the form of a multibillion dollar investment i.e. known as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is of immense importance for the stability of Muslim world and South Asia. CPEC serves as a leading-edge towards Pakistan’s development.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an ambitious project with cost of around $ 46 billion, launched in 2015. This mega development project aims to connect Gwadar port (Southwestern Pakistan) to Xinjiang Uyghur (Northwestern China) via 3000 km network of Railways, Highways and Pipelines. This corridor will pass through Pakistan’s largest province Baluchistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir.
The main objective of CPEC is to connect China with South Asia, Central Asia & Middle East and to provide safe trading route via Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This purpose of CPEC will provide game-changing opportunities to Pakistan. CPEC will provide safer trade route to Pakistan to extend their market to European, Middle East, Russia, Gulf Countries and Africa. CPEC will help Pakistan to advance its economic interests. It will help to overcome psychological barriers to increase foreign investment flow within the country.
Peace and prosperity will be achieved through economic development. Almost from a half decade no any international investment has come to Pakistan so after a long time Mega investment in shape of CPEC came and its giving a little hope to every Pakistani that their poverty might end after it. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will improve Pakistan’s current economy as well as the lives of nearly three billion people across the region. It is seemed to be a breakthrough for Pakistan’s development and successful completion of the CPEC may generate three to four times more profit than their investment. The corridor will boost up economic development and create new business and job opportunities which will help in the improvement of poverty.
The project will help in Pakistan rebalancing between the geopolitical and geo-economic will improve the infrastructure, the energy requirements, workforce development and economic progress. CPEC is viewed as a game changer for both China-Pakistan and the entire region; economic development and regional integration will be enhanced through connectivity and partnership. China Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) only could become a game changer, if Pakistan succeeded in overcoming security challenges.
It will have a positive impact on the living standard of the common people in the region by providing the numerous opportunities of cooperation and development. It will address the grievances, sense of deprivation, discrimination and poor management of resources, of a different segment of the society of Pakistan. It will boost the trade and investment in Pakistan. The project will help in mitigating the chronic energy crisis which has a negative impact on the economy of Pakistan. The energy shortage hampered the industrial production in the country, and business is closing, shifting to other countries. Pakistan industry needs an uninterrupted energy supply for smooth economic growth. CPEC is the central and ideal project which will help get the free country of the energy crises while WAPDA and KESC have failed to tackle the problems of the system of the state.
CPEC is the game changer project which eliminates and removes the poverty in the entire region, the project is based on construction of textile garment , industrial part project, dams and installation of nuclear reactors and creating a network of roads, railway line which will automatically generate employment and people’s will also take ownership of these projects, the projects will also facilitate the education side, technical side, vocational training institutes, water supply and distribution in undeveloped areas of Pakistan and will improve the quality life of people. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game changer opportunity for Pakistan and a new and fruitful step towards Pak-China friendship.
CPEC is the framework of regional connectivity which is a well thought out framework that will escort great economic/trade activity in the region and will reshape many economic policies in the coming years. For Pakistan, it is a catalyst for change and for China, it is meant to showcase its comprehensive economic reach to the regions for its successful culmination of ‘One Belt, One Road’ policy.
Along with challenges CPEC also provides opportunities for growth and development. So, we should remain positive despite of threats and support this project. It is also government duty to motivate people of Baluchistan, FATA, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan. Free roads, railway, power project, job opportunities and easy connectivity within provinces and countries are aim of this project. Government should take steps to stretch its planning and increase the stakeholders to get maximum benefits of CPEC.
The writer is the student of Business Administration at the University of South Asia