CPEC: An Amazing Source of Employment Opportunities in Pakistan | By Col (R) Muhammad Hanif


CPEC: An Amazing Source of Employment Opportunities in Pakistan

As the Chinese-financed3000 kilometres long CPEC connecting the Kashgar city of China’s Xinjiang Autonomous region with Gwadar Port city of Balochistan province of Pakistan, would be a network of roads, railways, ports, power plants, pipelines, industrial zones and cooperation in agriculture, its development is going to give a quantum jump to the development of Pakistan’s economy.

With the huge economic and trade-related opportunities that the CPEC will provide, it also has a huge potential for creating countless employment opportunities for the people of Pakistan.

In fact, as the construction of the CPEC is progressing, it has already created many jobs for the Pakistani people, which they are doing and earning their livelihood.

A look at the ongoing CPEC related projects and the future projects give us a fair idea that from the start of its construction till its completion and later for its functioning as a regional trade and economic development hub, the CPEC is going to provide a huge number of jobs for the Pakistani youth.

And, the creation of numerous employment opportunities for the Pakistani people will greatly help in earning their livelihood that will address not only the issue of poverty in Pakistan, but it will also substantially help in improving their standard of living.

Now let us have a look at the ongoing and the future CPEC-related projects and their potential to attract many people for the new jobs.

Already, out of the 19 energy projects included in the CPEC plan, 10 projects, based on coal, have been completed and these projects have provided employment to a sizeable number of people in Pakistan and many people will remain on the job for the operation and maintenance of these electricity producing plants.

Likewise, the ongoing nine projects have also provided jobs to the people and further jobs will be created for the operation and maintenance of these plants.

As these projects have already added about 5000 megawatts of electricity and after the completion of the remaining projects, 17000 MW of additional electricity will be available for the industry, agriculture, services, construction and other sectors of economic development, which will allow expansion of these production-related projects that will also create many more jobs.

Apart from the above mentioned projects, a vast network of highways and railways is also being built under the CPEC plan. This transportation network will link Gwadar and Karachi seaports with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia.

A 1,100-kilometre-long motorway is being built between Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC, while the Karakoram Highway from Hasan Abdal to the Chinese border is also being reconstructed.

The up-gradation of the Karachi–Peshawar main railway line is also about to be started to allow for train travel at up to 160 km per hour.

Pakistan’s railway network will also be extended to connect with China’s southern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar.

It is therefore obvious that while the ongoing projects out of these have already provided jobs to many Pakistanis, the upcoming projects will also create new jobs.

Gwadar port forms the core of the CPEC project, as it would act as a major link between China’s One Belt, One Road project, and its Maritime Silk Road project and trade of China, Central Asia and South Asia, with the outer world and vice-versa.

Gwadar Port is being initially expanded to allow for docking of the larger ships of up to the tonnage of 70,000.

In Gwadar, a floating liquefied natural gas facility will also be constructed and will be connected to the Gwadar-Nawabshah segment of the Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline.

In total, there are nine projects in Gwadar’s development plan, including the construction of a modern airport, funded by China.

There are also plans to construct at least two oil refineries along with a huge oil storage facility.

In the context it is crystal clear that these plans related to the development of the Gwadar port have a major potential to create numerous jobs as many people have already got jobs in the Gwadar-related ongoing projects.

Pakistan and China have also signed an agricultural cooperation framework agreement to modernize agriculture.

To expand and modernize industry in Pakistan, nine special economic zones are also being developed along the CPEC route in phases aimed to bring an industrial revolution in the country.

In view of this focus on expanding agriculture and industrial capacity and production in Pakistan, it can be fairly visualized that the development projects in these two major areas of economic progress of the country will create many jobs.

In the light of the above discussion, it can be concluded that the signing of the construction of the CPEC between Pakistan and China, to be financed by China has come as a God-given opportunity to Pakistan, to prove its worth to become an Asian Tiger in its own right, as this project carries two major advantages of increasing Pakistan’s economic growth and providing countless employment opportunities to the people of Pakistan.

And, these two achievements will certainly kill poverty and bring prosperity to the people of Pakistan, apart from making Pakistan an economic power and a truly sovereign country.

But, to achieve this major success, it is necessary that the Pakistani leadership and its people work very hard with full honesty and devotion, by the banishment of the petty and greedy power politics, corruption and nepotism and by adhering to the Islamic values.