The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In summary, CPEC is a flagship $60 billion project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe through a vast network of highways, rail lines, and sea lanes. CPEC focuses on four areas namely in: transportation networks; port development; energy infrastructure, and industrial cooperation.
Gwadar port is one of the biggest infrastructure projects for Pakistan under the Belt and Road initiative. The port and other developments in the area, one of which is the Gwadar Freezone is expected to lure investors from China as well as other parts of the world in investing in the region to turn it into a major international hub.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed that ensuring complete peace and socio-economic development for the people of Balochistan are the key priorities of his government. He also has a firm resolve to end the sense of deprivation among the local people by launching a series of development projects and undo the neglect of decades towards the province.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he is aware of the problems of Balochistan and ensured that their government’s commitment to change the situation by providing them relief and services in the best possible manner.
Experts also believe that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be a game-changer for Pakistan southwest Balochistan province.
Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) organized a webinar where bringing peace, prosperity, and development in Balochistan by empowering the Baloch people through development projects and governance reforms.
Rafiullah Kakar, a development and policy expert from Balochistan, has said that CPEC has the potential to be the game-changer for Balochistan to uplift the underdeveloped areas and sectors of the province.
Kakar commented that the benefit of the multi-billion-dollar project has yet to reach the people of Balochistan in the areas where CPEC projects are still under the process of completion, adding that the Pakistani government should focus on completing the projects in the sooner possible manner to benefit the province and its poor population.
Another expert on CPEC, Dr. Manzoor Khan Afridi, Pakistan and China are eyeing to strengthen their economic relations with a focus on increasing bilateral trade volume. Pakistan is committed to making business-friendly policies to attract more and more investors from China and Pakistan is also looking to have duty free access to Chinese markets.
Economist, Dr. Noor Fatima, said that CPEC project will connect South Asia with Central Asia and Europe. With economic-centric policies China has emerged as the most attractive global financial market and Pakistan’s response to it is magnificent.