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Getting CPEC right is lifting Pakistan out of poverty

The government of China has helped many of its neighbours and other countries in the world come out of the poverty trap. With the help of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the government is seeking to lift many other countries out of the poverty trap.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and development work under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in particular, has the promise of prosperity attached to every project.

The Belt and Road initiative has taken countries involved to a path where they can move forward and look at a future where they have put them in the driver’s seat in political thinking and engineering policies drafted in the United Nations.

In terms of CPEC, the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) established in Gwadar is designed to regenerate under-developed regions in Gwadar and other local areas around it. Gwadar’s SEZs offer new potential for economic cooperation, investment, human resource development and sustained industrialization. They are seen as an opportunity for Pakistani companies to work with the Chinese collaboratively, furthering the development of export-oriented manufacturing industries whilst learning valuable business and trade techniques in the process.

The economic policies of the past governments and the recent COVID pandemic, in unison, has made Pakistan as determined as ever to move the country out of poverty. The development of CPEC has already generated new jobs and a good lifestyle for the people. This pattern will continue once CPEC vision is fully constructed and made real. Yet. of course, more needs to be done.

Gwadar holds significant importance in the development of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The region saw the construction of a port with a capacity of 70,000 tons of shipping spread over an area of 2200 acres. The port has already been completed and handed over to the Chinese for a lease spanning 43 years. This move helped the current Pakistani government devise special economic policies amidst the pandemic.

The Pakistan and the Chinese governments have recognized Gwadar as one such location that can change the destiny of Pakistan as well as China. The region has already attracted the interests of some of the major investors and companies around the world. People have started coming in from various parts of the country already looking for livelihood and source of income. The region is receiving a boost in tourism as well.

The development of the Gwadar port will bring about significant changes to the demographics and the infrastructure around the area of Gwadar. This will give the Chinese and the Pakistani governments an upper hand in trade throughout the region.

Education is very important in terms of creating the right workforce, so therefore the development of schools around Gwadar has helped the locals, as well as the unemployed youth of Pakistan. Extension construction work of China-Pakistan Gwadar Faqeer Middle School is currently well under way since 2019. The school will boast high-end infrastructure, diversified subjects and advanced teaching methods. The current site holds 150 students, but now it has over 600 students.

The health sector has also not been neglected. A new $100 million Gwadar hospital project with state-of-the-art health facilities was commissioned last year and is currently being built in the province of Balochistan. It is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

The CPEC developments and the Belt and Road Initiative of China are indeed a blessing and offers a dynamic way out for Pakistan from its long standing problems of poverty and unemployment.

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