China-Pak-_CPEC-1The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government’s special focus on multi-billion dollar projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has helped broaden its scope from infrastructure and energy to industrial, information technology (IT) and agriculture sectors.
During the first three years of the incumbent government, new infrastructure projects started with particular emphasis on the western alignment of CPEC which connects the most underdeveloped regions with Gwadar and major urban centers of the country.
In addition, based on the government’s emphasis on clean energy, work on hydel power projects such as Azad Pattan and Kohala has also been initiated.
With respect to Gwadar’s development, a three-year performance report launched by the government on Thursday said a new international airport in the city is under construction; the connection with national power grid is in advance stages of completion; dams for increased water supply have been built; Eastbay Expressway is nearly completion and a number of socioeconomic projects for the people of Gwadar and nearby areas are being implemented.
The first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under CPEC became operational in Faisalabad in 2020. The second SEZ has been set up in Rashakai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by a Chinese developer, who is also responsible for marketing this SEZ to Chinese and other investors. The third SEZ is expected to become operational at Dhabeji in Sindh soon. Major industrial investment is expected in these SEZs which will make the industrial cooperation strand of CPEC the most vibrant element of the Corridor.
The agriculture Joint Working Group (JWG) under CPEC was set up in March 2020. One of the first projects being taken up is high quality cotton seed production.
Collaborative investments by Chinese and Pakistani companies for different high value crops and large-scale dairy farming are being worked out. This injection of new vitality and global connection is absolutely vital for our agricultural transformation, the report added.