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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says implementation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project will put the country on the path of sustainable progress and development . He was addressing a ceremony after performing ground breaking of Pakistan-China Optical fiber cable project in Gilgit today. Mega project will not only bring economic benefits for the people but also help address the issue of extremism with the provision of job opportunities to the youth. Pak-China Optical Fiber cable project will prove to be a milestone in the development of IT and telecom services. It will help to provide these facilities to the under developed areas. The project will bring 3-G and 4-G services in Gilgit Baltistan. This project is a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor. PM announces the construction of a technical training institute in Gilgit to equip the youth of the area with the modern technical education. Initially the government will provide a grant of 100 million rupees for the institute.

Earlier Background:

Pakistan and China, who are considered as two “all weathered” strategic and diplomatic partners in South Asia, decided to enlarge their relationship in broader spectrum. The Initiative is China's idea, but the opportunities it has created belong to the world"(Foreign Minister Wang Yi). A connectivity network has taken shape, most notably the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor. The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and it links China with Europe through central and western Asia, and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road connecting China with Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. The four main areas of collaboration between the two countries are; infrastructure, transportation, energy, and industrial cooperation. The CPEC also has immense importance for China. China considers CPEC as “flagship project” because through this project China will get easy and short routed reach towards the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been opening many closed avenues. It was rightly said that the Corridor would be a game-changer in the region. Now it has become absolutely true.

Investors:

The CPEC is a multinational project and many countries have shown interest in joining it. Japanese-led Asian Development Bank (ADB), the British Department for International Development (DFID) and Iran, have joined the multi-billion dollars cooperative project. The ADB has extended two tranches of US$ 127 million and US$ 200 million. The DFID has extended US$ 121 million loan.

Zhob:

Two mega road projects near Zhob in Balochistan (2,400 km long western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor).

Possible Industrial Zones on Western Route of CPEC:

There is possibility of seven potential sites that included Marble and Granite Industrial Estate at Mansehra, Industrial Estate at Karnal Sher Khan Interchange, Expansion of Industrial Estate Hattar Phase VII, Industrial Estate D.I.Khan, Industrial Estate at the border of Kohat and Karak and Industrial and Economic Zone Bannu

List of major Projects under CPEC: (Brief List)

·          Gwadar Port

·          Upgrading of Karachi–Peshawar Main Line

·          Khunjerab Railway

·          Karachi - Lahore Motorway (KLM)

·          Havelian to Khunjrab Rail track

·          Hazara Motorway (Also known as E35expressway)

·          Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway

·          Economic Corridor Support Force

·          Havelian Dry Port

·          Upgrading of Gwadar International Airport

·          China-Pakistan Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory

·          Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project

·          700 MW Hydro-Electric Suki Kinari Hydropower Project

·          1,320 MW Sahiwal Coal Power Project

·          1,320 MW Pakistan Port Qasim Power Project

·          Jhimpir wind Power project

·          Development of Private Hydro Power Projects

Universities under CPEC (Ahsan Iqbal)

Three universities will be opened this year on the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. FATA, Zhob and Gwadar universities will be opened along the western route

Analysts

Abid Qayum Sulehri (Economic Exert): 

“We need to devise a prudent mechanism to do the things. Prime Minister is taking interest in development projects and wants to uplift the country . The incumbent government has launched several projects which are in favour of the country . The execution of project will convey a good message to the general public on district level. The biggest achievement of the present government is launch of 46 billion dollars project China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The CPEC is a game changer in the region which will ultimately connect the whole country by laying down an extensive network of roads across the country . The remote areas would be connected with major cities of Pakistan. The project will create a large number of employment opportunities in Pakistan which will help to reduce poverty.

Dr. Anwar Shah (Economic Expert):

“The connectivity is a prerequisite for the development and progress of any country . The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has four dimensions; energy generation projects, infrastructure development , special economic zones and development of Gwadar port. The infrastructure development includes Motorways, Highways, uplifting of existing railway tracks, new railway tracks and installment of fiber optic cable. After the completion of CPEC , Pakistan will become closely connected with its all areas linked with major roads. The connectivity reduces the fuel consumption while traveling, which will decrease expenditure of trade activities and generate revenue.”


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