What is CPEC ?

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a paradigm shift network of roads, railways and pipelines which spans across 3000 kilometers approximately. It spans atop of Himalayas from Kashgar city, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to down below towards the Arabian Sea, specifically southern Pakistan’s Gwadar. The project provides a shorter linkage for Chinese products to Middle East and rest of the world and links China’s strategy for the development of its western region with Pakistan. This project also aims at highlighting Pakistan’s importance as a central hub and it’s focus is on boosting the Pakistani economy. It also includes the infrastructure construction at Gwadar Port, the construction of one of the larger airports in Gawadar, along with some energy cooperation and investment programs.

It also involves road and railway construction including an upgrade of the 1,300-km Karakoram Highway. It’s vision is to make the highest paved international road in the world which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram Mountains.

History of CPEC

The official launch of CPEC took place on April 20, 2015, when the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chinese President Xi Jinping signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding with a combined value of $46 billion. The actual beginnings of CPEC, however, and therefore the answer to the question ‘Who started CPEC?’ lie further back in history. Given the scale of the project – which is designed to form a major plank of the Chinese One Belt one Road (OBOR) initiative – it should come as little surprise to discover that it developed from roots which are slightly more complex than a meeting between the two heads of government. OBOR One Belt One Road is the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is an ambitious project that focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among multiple countries spread across the continent of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The OBOR consists of CPEC and another five corridors which deliver infrastructure development in more than 65 countries, accounting for 60% of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP.

The alliance between Pakistan and China is strategic, the regional proximity and shared concerns are driving in accordance . It has been the most important feature of the coalition , since as long ago as the early 1960s. During recent decades, however, the feeling has grown in both countries that the vital union they wish to pursue will only be successful if they work together much more closely in economic terms

This policy was declared in practical terms when the two leaders signed an agreement based around economic co-operation. So, the first fruits of this policy emerged in 2000, when President Pervez Musharraf visited China and used meetings with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji to underline the need for much stronger economic links between the two countries. This was pursued in 2001, when Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visited Pakistan and signed six agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding which covered areas including railways, telecommunications, tourism, mining and petroleum. This was the same visit during which President Musharaff asked the Chinese Premier to support the construction of Gwadar Port. The support was forthcoming and, even more importantly, when Chinese Vice Premier Wu Bang Guo visited Pakistan in 2002, he attended the Gwadar Port ground-breaking ceremony in the company of President Musharaff. Although Gwadar Port is now rightly seen as playing a central role in the wider CPEC project, at the time it was described as the ‘Pak-China Friendship Journey from Karakoram to Gwadar’.

Estimated Annual Growth and Revenue

Under CPEC, Pak and China have initiated projects of 17,045 MW of electricity, national level modernization of roads and rail infrastructure, new optical fiber connect with China, development and commercialization of Gwadar port and smart port city, 4 urban mass transit projects in major cities and 9 SEZs.

CPEC Revenue

Due to development initiatives of the government, economic growth rate 5.3% a decade high was achieved in 2017.Concerning the real returns on CPEC we also need to look at other additional benefits, such as, a pPositive impact on GDP growth rate which is expected to rise to 7% by 2020 from 5.2% in 2017; industry relocation from other regions as well as the rapid growth in service industry catering to transit trade etc.
The annual revenue from toll collection is projected at around $5bn by 2022, which would counter the balance of payment issues in future (CE, PD&R).

CPEC Pakistan’s Dazzling Future

CPEC complete in 20 to 25 years with the largest possible quantity in 2024 and 2025. The government has already formed an internal supporting frame of the country’s economy. Which is on its way to configure the structure. The authorities are keeping the people updated with every new development about CPEC and people are also aware that this project is the gateway to prosperity for Pakistan.

CPEC future

But, one should also keep in mind that Pakistan needs long-term economic reforms to get relief in the days ahead. The future of this country depends on its capacity to pay back Chinese loans.