CPEC set to embrace a brighter and more splendid next decade: says Chinese envoy

— Chinese CG speaks about significance of 2nd phase of CPEC

KARACHI: The Chinese Consul General in Karachi Yang Yundong has said that China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will embrace a brighter and more splendid next decade, propelling the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to new heights and making greater contributions to the peace and prosperity of both countries and the region.

“Currently, the CPEC has entered its second phase, which marks a crucial stage of high-quality development,” the Chinese Consul General said while speaking at a press conference at a local hotel.

The 10th anniversary of CEPC was celebrated in Islamabad last week and the Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message, which pointed out that since its launch in 2013, China and Pakistan have been advancing CEPC under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and have achieved several early harvests.

This has added new impetus to the economic and social development of Pakistan and laid a good foundation for regional connectivity and integration. It is a vivid testament to the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan and provides an important underpinning for building an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.

“Since CEPC started ten years ago, altogether 36 projects have been completed or under construction, which has brought $25.4 billion of direct investment to Pakistan, achieving cumulative revenue of $17.55 billion, cumulative tax payments of $2.12 billion, creating 236,000 job opportunities and helping to add 8,000 megawatts of electricity, 510 kilometers of highways, and 886 kilometers of national core transmission lines,” the Consul General said.

He said significant progress has been achieved in the construction of Gwadar Port. The port now has 3 multi-purpose berths capable of handling 50,000-ton vessels, fully operational. Projects like the East Bay Expressway, Vocational, and Technical Training Institutions are already in operation.

He said Gwadar New International Airport, the desalination plant, and China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital, all aided by China, are scheduled for completion in succession. The first phase of the Gwadar Free Zone has been completed, and several livelihood and agriculture technology companies have started operations. This shining “pearl” of the CPEC, which used to be a small fishing village, is accelerating its momentum towards becoming a strategic hub for logistics and industrial bases.

Yang said energy is one of the most heavily invested and productive cooperation areas under the framework of CEPC.

“As many as 14 energy projects have already started commercial operation, with the total installed capacity accounting for one-fifth of Pakistan’s total capacity, and generating one-third of the electricity of the whole country at peak hours. Sahiwal, Port Qasim, and Hub coal-fired power plants were swiftly built and put into commercial operation at “China’s speed,” he added.

“Various clean energy projects, such as Karot Hydropower Project, Dawood Wind Power Project, Sachal Wind Farm, and the Quaid-e-Azam Solar PV Power Plant, and K2, K3 nuclear power units have enriched Pakistan’s energy structure. The Thar Block I and Block II coal-fired power integration project has contributed to Pakistan’s energy self-sufficiency,” he added.

Yang Yundong said the Matiari to Lahore HVDC transmission line is the first high voltage direct current transmission project in Pakistan, which transmits over 30 billion KW/hour of power every year with little power loss. The implementation of various energy projects along the CPEC has illuminated millions of Pakistani households and provided reliable power support for Pakistan’s economic development. People in Pakistan no longer have to worry about frequent power shortages or power cuts, he added.

Yang Yundong said there has been tremendous progress in infrastructure development. The Sukkur-Multan motorway, with a total length of 392 KM, is the largest transport infrastructure project under CEPC, which cuts the travel time between the two cities from 11 hours to less than 4 hours.

“The Lahore Orange Line Metro is Pakistan’s first Metro line and the only one so far and has taken Pakistan to the Metro era. It significantly reduces the commuting time between the two ends of the line from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes. The Karakoram Highway Phase II project is connected to the ‘China-Pakistan Friendship Road’, enabling cargo buses to directly reach the Khunjerab Pass. Many other examples exist. The infrastructure construction along the CPEC has unlocked the potential of the regions, paving the way for development and prosperity,” he added.

He informed that a remarkable achievement has been made in industrial cooperation. CPEC has encouraged an increasing number of Chinese enterprises to come to Pakistan and engage in multi-field industrial cooperation, including agriculture, manufacturing, and textiles.

“In the M3 Industrial City in Faisalabad, ceramic products produced with Chinese investment and technology have reached thousands of Pakistani households, greatly enhancing Pakistan’s independent capabilities in the sector of the building material industry. In many places in Punjab and Sindh provinces, Chinese hybrid rice has become a popular planting variety, significantly increasing rice yield”.

He said at the same time, cooperation in chilli and canola planting is progressing steadily. The Rashakai Special Economic Zone Phase I built by Chinese companies, has been completed and begun attracting investment, while the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone broke ground in July this year.

With the development of special economic zones, bilateral industrial cooperation is expected to grow even closer, laying a solid foundation for Pakistan’s industrialization process, he concluded.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

ECP refutes claims on issuance of schedule for general elections

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday refuted the news item claiming that the electoral watchdog had issued the schedule for the...