Engineering Post Report
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), being the flagship project of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) has quite successfully completed the first phase and is now entering its second phase after ten years celebrations were marked by a number of functions in Islamabad. The great game changer CPEC had initially witnessed planned investment of US $ 46.6 billion. An economic programe, as the very name suggests is aimed at enhancing regional connectivity, trade and multilateral development cooperation between China, Pakistan and beyond. The project was planned to be executed phase-wise from 2015 through 2030.
The project has made remarkable progress in the first phase especially in the early harvest period (2013-18) whereby several mega projects have been completed including Karakoram High (KKH) Phase-1 (Havelian-Thakot Section),around 5320 MW of electricity to the national grid. Projects worth US $ 13.9 billion in the transport and energy infrastructure sectors have been carried out successfully and many more are under implementation and at varying stages of their completion.
The great game changer CPEC had initially faced various setbacks, including security concerns, political instability in Pakistan, and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, both China and Pakistan have reaffirmed their commitment to the project, and efforts were being made at the appropriate high levels to address the challenges.
CPEC’s second phase is focused on industrialization, agriculture modernization, socio-economic development and cooperation in Science and Information Technologies has already taken off. The purpose was to reap the projected rich dividends of the investment made in the energy and transport sectors.
However, the period of other avenues of cooperation defined in the CPEC -Long-Term-Plan (2015-30) were being opened to deepen the cooperation between the two countries. Tourism, Mines & minerals and Petroleum sectors were among the sectors opened for cooperation in the second phase over and above the already mentioned sectors. Projects in the existing and the newly-established areas would surely and certainly enhance the capacity of Pakistan that would hopefully result in improving the economic competitiveness of the country.