The contribution of the CPEC, PowerChina, and Port Qasim power projects to youth empowerment |  By Qaisar Nawab


The contribution of the CPEC, PowerChina, and Port Qasim power projects to youth empowerment

Several studies have shown that employment is critical to the health of the economy. The term “emergency” refers to a situation in which a person’s life is put in jeopardy due to an unforeseen event. It allows workers to increase their capacity for information as well as their expertise, which has a “snowball effect” on future recruitment opportunities by fostering the development of new businesses.

A significant increase in Pakistan’s employment rate was only a fantasy and a dream prior to the development of the CPEC project. Unfortunately, the majority of domestic workers lacked the specialised skills and experience required for the jobs created by CPEC’s early harvest programmes. As a result, Chinese businesses began to prioritise foreign workers. So, these projects employed far more unskilled domestic workers than qualified or technical Pakistani workers.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an infrastructure development project worth billions of dollars that is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The CPEC project includes the expansion of Pakistan’s Gwadar port, as well as the construction of roads, railways and energy infrastructure. PowerChina, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, is actively involved in the construction of power infrastructure projects such as the Port Qasim Power Project under the CPEC programme.

In terms of youth empowerment particularly youth development and employment, the CPEC project and associated energy infrastructure projects have the potential to open up new opportunities in Pakistan. For example, the design and operation of power plants such as the Port Qasim Power Plant necessitate a wide range of skills, including engineering, project management and maintenance. Young people in Pakistan can improve their job prospects by acquiring these skills through education and training. The CPEC project has the potential to generate a wide range of jobs in industries such as tourism, hospitality and logistics. Young people may find work in areas such as shipping and customs, as well as the development and management of hotels and resorts, as a result of the development of the Port of Gwadar, for example.

A number of infrastructure and development projects, including the CPEC, were launched in 2013 as part of China’s grandiose “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI). It is a significant development project that will transform Pakistan’s economy by constructing new transportation and energy infrastructure and connecting China to the Arabian Sea. The project entails the construction of a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from the port of Gwadar in south-west Pakistan to Xinjiang in north-west China. The term “solar power” refers to the use of solar energy to generate electricity. The plan also includes the development of industrial parks to attract foreign investment and boost manufacturing growth.

CPEC is expected to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment and create thousands of new jobs in Pakistan, making it a game changer for the country’s economy. Furthermore, the project aims to provide much-needed infrastructure to Pakistan’s rural and impoverished areas, improving connectivity and expanding economic potential. However, the CPEC has come under fire from critics who see the initiative as a ploy by China to increase its influence in the region. Security issues have also arisen as a result of the presence of separatist organizations in Pakistan’s Baluchistan region, where Gwadar Port is located.

Power Construction Corporation of China, also known as PowerChina, is a Chinese state-owned company that focuses on energy and infrastructure construction. PowerChina, one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, operates in over 100 countries and regions. Among the Company’s commercial ventures are the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of power plants, hydroelectric projects, transmission lines, substations and other infrastructure projects. PowerChina has been involved in a number of high-profile projects, including the construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric power station, both of which have significantly aided China’s energy and infrastructure growth.

PowerChina has recently participated in a number of international projects, the majority of which have been in developing countries. These projects include the construction of hydroelectric power plants, transmission lines and other types of infrastructure in countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Brazil. PowerChina has worked on a variety of renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and biomass power plants. The company is investing heavily in the research and development of new clean energy technologies, with the goal of producing 50 GW of renewable energy by 2025.

POWERCHINA RESOURCES LTD (51% ownership) and Qatar’s “AL-MIRQAB CAPITAL” (49% ownership) financed and established Port Qasim Electric Power Company (Private) Limited, also known as “PQEPC.” The Port Qasim Coal Power Plant Project is primarily in charge of the investment, construction, operation and management. It was established on August 12, 2014, in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. More than 40 billion kilowatt hours of electricity have been produced since the project’s inception and it has been safely operational for 1800 days. The Port Qasim power plant project includes a comprehensive talent development strategy and a standardized management structure to ensure that all new hires feel comfortable in their roles as soon as possible.

100 of the first 150 Pakistani university graduates working in power plants received six-month training in similar Chinese power plants and were fully subsidized. Some of these graduates have gone on to become key professionals in the country’s coal-fired power plant industry, holding key managerial positions. It has established itself as a green environmental protection powerhouse capable of powering all 4 million homes in Pakistan for four consecutive years, with the highest electricity generation load rate, highest electricity consumption, and lowest electricity price.

The “One Belt, One Road” China Pakistan Youth Development Initiative was proposed and implemented collaboratively by the All-China Youth Federation, PowerChina Group and the Prime Minister Office for Youth Affairs. This was done in order to assist the youth of China and Pakistan in vigorously participating in the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and to encourage the common development of the two countries’ youth in international cooperation.

According to the Sino-Pakistani youth development strategy, related CPEC projects will provide 1000 jobs and internships for young Pakistanis. The Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan Youth Affairs would openly recruit via social media, job boards, college recruitment and other channels. Around 100 jobs and internships will be available at China’s hydroelectric and thermal power project sites and offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Kashmir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and other locations, including relevant commercial and technical positions.

It is critical to remember that the impact of CPEC projects on employment and youth development is still being studied. Some have questioned the project due to its lack of transparency and the possibility of debt and reliance on China. Concerns have been raised about the project’s ability to benefit local workers and communities, as well as whether it will result in locals being evicted from their homes and losing their traditional livelihoods. As a result, while the CPEC project and related energy infrastructure initiatives have the potential to create job opportunities for Pakistani youth, it is critical to ensure that the project’s benefits are distributed fairly and that there are no unintended consequences.