CPEC Benefits to Pakistan – Getting Down to Brass Tacks
The CPEC issue has undoubtedly been a major dispute since its inception, with different parties having varying standpoints. However, we can not deny the benefits it has been incurring to China and Pakistan altogether, owing to the deep rooted and historic friendship of the two nations.
The friendship of Pakistan and China is not only restricted to this particular issue CPEC, on the contrary, its much more than that. The statistics are a proof of the profound relationship we have always had.
The concern China has ever shown towards Pakistan, along with the collaboration we have always had in different areas is evident to the whole world. In addition, the two nations and their authorities have always celebrated and cherished their friendship. The president of China, made the following statement before his first visit to Pakistan:
“I feel as if i am going to visit the home of my own brother. Over the years, thanks to the nurturing of generations of leaders and people from all sectors of both countries, China Pakistan friendship has flourished like a tree growing tall and strong”.
Now, let’s come to the point. The two nations are investing heavily in this strategic alliance between them. However, the point of concern is that is it having any downright impact on any or both the nations? Find out with us.
Before we land on this matter, bear in mind that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a 3,218km structure of roads, railways and dry ports extending from Gwadar to Kashgar.
Moreover, it will enhance lives of about 3 billion people residing in these regions. Not just this, it will help China and Pakistan altogether carry out trade with more than half of the world.
Although it is assumed that the project will help ensure synergy and increase cooperation between the two nations, but at the same time, it is not without potential problems as well as risks.
The idea of CPEC was conceived in 2013 and the Chinese president made his visit to Pakistan in 2015 in order to enhance strategic cooperation between both the countries. Another important factor to remember here is that, the two nations signed 51 agreements altogether, worth $46 billion in totality.
In 2016, there was an opening ceremony to finally implement the plan in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. The construction began on a section of highway between Sukkur and the city of Multan. However, the CPEC issue has to be understood from both sides, that is Pakistan as well as China.
China hopes to expand its relations with the west through the CPEC project. Also, Pakistan deeply values the worth of CPEC and sees it as a mutually beneficial project.
CPEC Benefits to Pakistan – Our Insight
Gain through transportation fee
First of all, it would enable Pakistan charge transportation costs from China, through this corridor. That all depends on how successful we eventually become in providing a conducive environment to China in helping it locate its resources and expand its industries and operations here.
Until then nothing can be said with utmost surety. In addition, the time to transportation would also be reduced by a reasonable amount.
Development in Health & Education Sector
The long term benefits include the improvement of various sectors in Pakistan such as education, health and industry. The CPEC project will open up doors for more foreign investment in high tech industries.
The CPEC plan will definitely scoop up the private sector investment, both domestic as well as international. Keeping this fact in mind, Pakistan can expect to increase its GDP growth to above 6 to 7 percent in the long term.
CPEC – A Solution to Energy Crisis
According to Dr. Bob Wheeler, former Dean KSBL Karachi, CPEC offers Pakistan a solution to its energy crisis. He said that it is believed that CPEC will solve almost 80% of Pakistan’s energy crisis.
Apart from this, CPEC has been predicted to create 700,000 direct jobs and add up to 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country’s annual economic growth.
According to Dr Wheeler, CPEC will alleviate the Pakistani economy substantially, by allowing Pakistan to reach its full potential. CPEC would be a huge contribution to the education sector of Pakistan as training centers have been built in Gwadar and plans are underway to open universities along the route.
Although, Dr Wheeler remarked that the plans are still fragile and lack the necessary stability and transparency. Also, the completion time of several projects under CPEC are not clear to the general public.
CPEC – A Game Changer
Overall, the question remains, will it be a game changer for Pakistan? Keeping in view the statistics, the vote goes for it. Dr Bob also believes that this friendship will eventually be more beneficial to Pakistan in the long run.
CPEC appears to be the cure for all sorts of Pakistan’s economic crisis. Consequently, its is hoped that as more and economic projects are being set up and freight movements are taking place, Pakistan’s reconditioned highways and logistics facilities would eventually benefit Gilgit-Baltistan.
Nationalism & Gilgit-Baltistan
Another vital factor worth mentioning is that the plan would eventually be a major contributor towards nationalism in Gilgit-Baltistan, a region that has been assumed to have been neglected due to several reasons. Not just this, the residents of these regions have had an opportunity to outcast their potential abilities to the international spectators.
The project is also assumed to open new options of business for China, Pakistan as well as Iran. It will also provide a platform of cooperation in huge agricultural sector and will boost tourism industry of Pakistan. Additionally, it will also provide a platform of cooperation in huge agricultural sector and will boost tourism industry of Pakistan at the same time.
Benefits of CPEC for China
As a support to all the above mentioned facts, we can say that CPEC has been and will continue to benefit both Pakistan and China.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal recently remarked in a conference that the benefits of CPEC are uniform for both Pakistan and China. Speaking with a Chinese delegation in a recent meeting he said that CPEC has had a significant impact on Pakistan in the past three years. He further said that the relations of the two nations will further strengthen with the completion of CPEC projects.
So, with the betterment of economic conditions and enhancement of job opportunities in Pakistan through projects that are under CPEC, China can also ease security concerns within its borders, according to experts. The analysts are of the opinion that CPEC can help ease China’s concerns of extremism in Xinjiang.
Along with that, the CPEC projects will be building roads and railways which will connect Kashgar to Gwadar and as a result, this massive transportation initiative is expected to boost the economy of Xinjiang at the same time.
Moreover, the CPEC provides access to China through the Arabian Sea, provides an alternative route to China’s oil imports, offering Beijing energy security in case of instabilities in the Strait of Malacca, Chinese experts suggested.
So, undoubtedly both nations are working collaboratively towards a common goal, and saying that only China is benefiting from it is not more than a myth.
More than 9,000 Chinese nationals are currently working under CPEC in Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed had revealed last month. The stats say it all aloud.
Although, we can not deny the potential benefits of CPEC for the two nations, still more consensus and effort will be required in the fields of planning, research, coordination, security and consultation in the long run.Still a lot of determination is required to keep the project running smooth and uninterrupted.
What is your stance? Do let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.