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CPEC: A REVOLUTIONARY ERA OF INDUSTRIAL AND ENERGY SECTOR OF PAKISTAN

“One Belt and One Road” (OBOR) is the formative method of China, declared for availability and cooperation between nations in October 2013. OBOR is composed of sixty-five nations and will connect Europe, Asia and Africa through the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Maritime Silk Road.” This will be a win-win situation for all participants, as it will extend the exchange and improve the financial growth of the entire local community as well as the participating countries.

Since, contracts for $11 billion worth of ventures were concluded on June 25 and July 6 in 2020. The latest deals consolidate two hydropower generation projects costing $3.9 billion in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and a proposal to restructure the South Asian nation’s colonial-era railways for $7.2 billion – the costliest Chinese project in Pakistan yet as the railway system in Pakistan is quite vintage and needs restructuring.

Together with the release of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Faisalabad, Punjab province of Pakistan, these innovations have provided a new venture with new energy to CPEC, which has been on the back foot for some time. It is a step in the right direction in terms of revitalizing the CPEC both in Beijing and in Islamabad.

Developments show that the both countries want to move forward, despite concerns from both China and Pakistan. As a result, Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, retired on the Pakistani side, was made president of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) amid the opposition’s critique of the very creation of the body.

Among other items, the CPECA offers the military a more structured and sounder position as a shareholder overseeing relevant programmes. This has been done for the smooth functioning and working of CPEC projects in Pakistan, where, according to Chinese thought, political regimes are either poor or too short-lived and unstable. This creates bottlenecks in the longer-term implementation of programmes, at least from the viewpoint of China, where there has been an authoritarian regime. But the drive to give military power over Pakistan’s largest economic and foreign policy initiative may further undermine the civilian government’s establishment.

CPEC is heading into a completely new phase of developmental and energy sector that covers the hydropower projects, railway restructuring, bids for railway restructuring, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Free Trade Zones (FTZs), roads and infrastructure, and a sound phase of industrialization. The second phase has already pumped into action and CPECA along with Chinese workforce is quickly underway to complete the industrial and energy phase that is the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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