by Dr. Sebastien Goulard
As mentioned in a previous post, progress is being made along the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In early July, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the CPEC would be completed “at all costs” thereby making the corridor a top priority for Pakistan.
Infrastructure and much more
The CPEC will create job opportunities for the Pakistani workforce and will offer modern infrastructure to the country. Several Special Economic Zones will soon be inaugurated to attract foreign investors ; the upcoming renovation of the Karachi-Peshawar railroad will improve national integration and increase connectivity within Pakistan. This is so far the most important CPEC project; the current railway network was in a very bad shape and passengers were met with frequent delays. The new line will also make it easier for local companies to expand to other regions.
The CPEC is not only about infrastructure, the second phase has just started, and will focus on industrialisation, hi-tech, or agriculture. China and Pakistan are also developing new cooperation ties in many sectors including education, energy or environment.
Gwadar: A major CPEC project
Gwadar is obviously the flagship project of the CPEC as this port is to become the main hub connecting Pakistan to the world. In Gwadar, the deep-water port is to be extended and a new larger airport is under construction.
In Gwadar, Pakistani and Chinese authorities are willing to replicate Shenzhen’s experience and transform this ex-sleepy port into a vibrant megacity. Stakes are high which is why Pakistan has welcomed every nation on board. Gwadar development as well as other CPEC projects are open to Pakistani, Chinese and non-Chinese companies alike. Gwadar may become the main entry point for European companies to access the large Pakistani market and to take part in the CPEC.
gwadar.eu: A New Resource
This platform will create new ties between European and Pakistani stakeholders and increase European awareness about the opportunities offered in Gwadar. The CPEC is for now BRI’s most advanced segment, and Europe must join it!