CPEC: Social development and regional stability | By KAMRAN KR

CPEC: Social Development and Regional Stability

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has not only contributed to the socio-economic development of Pakistan, but the flagship project has also strengthened the strategic partnership between the two countries through joint initiatives in various sectors of the economy, the investment, joint venture, agriculture, infrastructure development, energy, defense production and, above all, people-to-people contacts.

Furthermore, it is evident that the flagship project has contributed to regional stability, security, socio-economic and geopolitical development of the country as economic stability and sustainability are directly correlated with political stability.

In this regard, Phase I of the Flagship Project has done an excellent job in transforming the energy prospects of the country by initiating, implementing and completing many small, medium and mega energy projects in the country. This has helped to significantly reduce the country’s energy deficit.

Similarly, Phases 1 and 2 of the project have significantly improved and modernized Pakistan’s transport infrastructure, which has also led to the creation of new jobs for the local people, which has been an effective way to eradicate poverty. poverty in remote areas of the country.

According to Economic Survey (2021-2022), Pakistani manpower, in large numbers, has been employed for many projects of CPEC which has ensured timely completion of infrastructure projects and launched new ones. projects such as Sukkur-Hyderabad Expressway (M-6), Peshawar-DI Khan Motorway (M-14), KKH Alternative Route (Gilgit-Shandor-Chitral), Swat Expressway (Phase-II), Dir Expressway and Karachi Circular Railways. This has brought prosperity to Pakistan’s construction and service industry.

The second phase of the project focuses on the development of various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, industrialization, textiles, logistics and, last but not least, the construction of industrial parks.

In this regard, rigorous mutual consultations, collaboration and coordination at the highest political, diplomatic, official, bureaucratic and, last but not least, ministerial levels have been organized between the two brotherly countries for the further development of CPEC in the country.

Hope that the constant and paramount cooperation between Pakistan and China in related fields can boost the economic growth of Pakistan and that there has been cooperation between the two countries for alleviating poverty in Pakistan.

Industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China through complementary benefits will greatly promote Pakistan’s economic development and poverty alleviation and bring remarkable economic and social benefits.

CPEC has also helped to significantly improve the business environment in Pakistan through the construction of Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

This has further helped Pakistan in securing direct and indirect foreign investment, especially from Middle Eastern countries, and many Central Asian countries have also shown keen interest in joining the flagship project and expansion of CPEC. , the project will surely benefit the countries concerned and the peoples of Pakistan, China and other countries in the region.

Even most ASEAN countries have also shown great interest in participating in CPEC’s ongoing projects, especially SEZs, infrastructure development, digitalization and health, etc.

CPEC has contributed to Pakistan’s achievement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has already helped Pakistan achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which bodes well for achieving the desired goals. social development, education, health and drinking water. , the empowerment of women, the end of sexual discrimination and, above all, the elimination of poverty and the creation of new jobs in the country.

Developing countries like Pakistan need financial assistance for achieving sustainable development goals, CPEC has proven to be the best economic resource for Pakistan.

Pakistan has long faced the threat of terrorism which has led to reduced exports and foreign investment inflows, among other economic losses.

During this critical and most difficult period, it was China that stepped forward and offered CPEC to Pakistan and is ready to invest more than US$65 billion in the various sectors, especially in the development of energy and infrastructure in the country.

Obviously, CPEC will help promote poverty reduction in Pakistan and neighboring countries and promote economic prosperity through regional connectivity with advanced and high-level infrastructure.

CPEC’s priority is to increase regional and global trade and accelerate foreign direct investment in Asia from around the world.

It is also evident that CPEC will also help Pakistan achieve the SDGs, the goals of the UN agenda, as they are directly and indirectly linked to the flagship project.

CPEC is the effective instrument for greater regional connectivity that can connect South Asia to Central Asia through the Middle Corridor, Afghanistan.

In this context, more recently, the governments of Pakistan, China and even Afghanistan have discussed in depth different ways and means to further enhance FDI flows, joint ventures, trade and commerce and a more great regional connectivity. All parties agree to achieve these desired goals through the various CPEC projects.

The Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan trans-regional railway projects would be a game-changer and a destiny-changer to realize the long-awaited dreams of greater regional connectivity. Thus, the merger of CPEC ML-I and the transregional railway project is essential.

The current government has endeavored to complete the ongoing CPEC projects as soon as possible.

Hope that the early completion of CPEC Phase I and the launch of CPEC Phase II will further enhance bilateral trade between strategic partners. This would promote the development of agriculture in the country.

Joel C. Hicks