Chinese researchers has revealed that construction work of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) has gone beyond expectations as the two countries have achieved remarkable progress in energy, transport infrastructure and industrial sector – as well as Gwadar Port.
Chinese researchers Zhou Rong and Chen Xiaochen, the researchers from the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China who made a field survey on the progress of the CPEC in Pakistan and released their survey report here on Monday. The report said that the power plants to be built under the framework of the CPEC, will have the capacity to produce over 10 million kilowatts. At present, half of these power projects are under construction. With such progress, Pakistan is expected to meet its domestic power demand by 2018.
The survey point out that power shortage did hamper Pakistan’s development for decades. If this problem is solved, Pakistan’s economy will improve significantly. Moreover, the security situation has also shown progress.
After a number of counterterrorism actions launched by the Pakistani Government, terror attacks and casualties have been reducing year on year.
The National Action Plan launched by Pakistan government in 2015 to crack down on terrorism and to supplement anti-terrorist offensive in northwest Pakistan has received great support across the country and achieved definite results.
Pakistan’s annual economic growth rate has been above 4 percent in the last four years, marking the country’s fastest growth period in the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, its inflation rate has continued to drop to around 3-4 percent, the lowest in the past decade. The rapid growth of Pakistan’s economy should be partly attributed to the CPEC, says the survey.
Since its implementation in April 2015, the construction of the CPEC has been pushed forward steadily.”So far, 18 early harvest projects have either been fulfilled or are under construction. Investment has reached $18.5 billion,” a senior Chinese diplomat also confirmed to the Chinese media.
“The CPEC has achieved the most progress among all cooperation projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. This should be mostly attributed to the solid foundation of China-Pakistan relations. Furthermore, the CPEC is planned reasonably and comprehensively,” he said.
With the CPEC, Pakistan is able to take advantage of its geographic location, serving as a trade hub in the South Asia region, the diplomat said.
Pakistan harbors great markets and human resource potential, as Pakistan has a population of 200 million and around 65 percent of the population is below the age of 35.
The CPEC’s progress has caught the attention of other countries interested in participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.
Wang Yiwei, a professor with the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said that the CPEC has a far-reaching effect on regional development.
The CPEC will encourage more countries to take China’s development pattern as the reference for their own national development,” he added.
Wang said, “The CPEC will lead another wave of industrial transfer to South Asia, which will help economic growth in South Asian countries.”
“The CPEC will offer a good example for the world to seek better global governance. In particular, it will help solve transnational problems of poverty, violence and terrorism which have long bothered Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Wang said.
Wang believes that with the CPEC and other initiatives between China and South Asian nations underway, there will be a broad framework for regional cooperation in the future.
He added that South Asia will benefit from this regional cooperation in terms of economic development, security and regional governance.