China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: $62 billion BRI plan to build Pakistan

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a mega plan that has the potential to revolutionize the Pakistan economic reality.

CPEC has contributed to resolving the serious electricity shortage in Pakistan — a big hurdle to industrial development. Before the commercial operation of a number of energy projects under CPEC, Pakistan was suffering a severe power crisis, with 12-18 hours of load shedding in a day, interrupting industrial production.

However, in recent years, entities like PowerChina (the world’s largest infrastructure construction investor ) have undertaken many energy projects under CPEC, including the Diamer Basha Dam Project, the 4th and 5th expansion of the Tarbela hydropower station, the wind power projects cluster, and the Port Qasim power station.

Hydropower supplies about one third of Pakistan’s electricity, and is undergoing expansion.

Tarbela 4th extension hydropower project, Pakistan - Mott ...
Tarbela 4th extension hydropower project, Pakistan.

CPEC will create an estimated 2.3 million jobs over the course of 15 years and boost the country’s annual economic growth rate by as much as 2.5%. From a very high level, this project aims to develop and construct Pakistan’s infrastructure. These consist of several projects in various industries. Starting with its railway sector, it will construct 5 major lines. Each of these projects will be worth billions of dollars and be thousands of kilometers long.

The Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line alone is estimated to cost a whopping 8.2 billion dollars and would become one of the country’s leading sources of commuter and freight traffic in the years to come.

These rail investments will also see the construction of Pakistan’s first-ever driverless metro system which is expected to serve one of the country’s largest cities, Lahore.

The biggest endeavor, however, isn’t its railways but is in its energy sector.

An estimated 33 billion dollars will be poured over to construct projects that would power up the country. This will see construction of various renewable energy projects – along with other projects these renewable energy’s will power 25% of the country’s electricity by 2030. It is not entirely renewable, as some are projects under construction. Some still consist of coal and natural gas projects.

This CPEC master plan will see developments in the Gwadar city; it will improve upon its port, see the construction of a new international airport, and its other major industries such as roadways, healthcare, and even its education sector. The other major areas where it will see vast changes are its agriculture and aquaculture to improve upon its animal breeding and expand on the variety of plants, science, and technology which will ultimately bring forth a new digital age to the country and these projects will pour out massive economic effect to the rest of the country.

The benefits of constructing all these projects, however, are more than what you might have imagined. Pakistan has always been a country that is frequently being skipped on as an international investment place. But the the China-Pakistan economic corridor will change that.

This will be the start of something bigger, a more bold initiative that acts like a sign that tells the world “The country is now open for business opportunities”.

Its direct effects on the people however are that it will improve the social and economic problems that underdeveloped regions are facing. This is especially true for its energy developments, these power stations will finally light up the country and will benefit society by improving the likes of water and food quality, making traveling easier, and even setting the stone for innovative people.

The construction of these infrastructures will also fasten the trade sector of the country, from China specifically will have the most impact by improving the shipment of goods from 45 days to only 10 days which will insanely move everything faster. Its neighboring countries will also reap the benefit from faster shipments of goods as well. This is one of the most beneficial to the country as trade with China has grown at an average annual double-digit rate during the past decade.


SOURCE: Behind Asia, 29 Nov 2021.