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Economic corridor an entirely new business plan for Pakistan and region

Published on 21st Dec, Edition 51, 2015

 

Pakistan and China set in motion a roll out of $46 billion portfolio agreed under Chine-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Both signed agreements worth $28 billion to immediately kick-start early harvest projects, while projects worth $17 billion, which are in pipeline, will follow as soon as required studies, processes and formalities are completed. The groundbreaking and signing of financial agreements has demonstrated that there is a strong will on both sides to implement CPEC portfolio of $45 billion agreed under CPEC framework as early as possible to help Pakistan meet its energy needs.

The following agreements signed under umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, will immediately start implementation phase of CPEC since necessary processes have already been completed. These financing agreements include:

1000MW Solar Power Park, 870MW Suki Kanari KPK Hydro Power Project, 720MW Karot AJK Hydro Power, three projects of wind power at Thatta of 50MW, 100MW UEP and 50MW, Chinese governmental concessional loans for the second phase upgradation of Karakorum Highway (Havelian to Thakot), Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Multan to Sukur), Gwadar Port East Bay Expressway Project and Gwadar International Airport, provision of material for Tackling Climate Change, Pro Bono Projects in the Port of Gwadar Region, establishment of China-Pakistan Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory, establishment of China-Pakistan Joint Marine Research Center, cooperation between the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Films and Television of China and Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage of Pakistan, Triple Party Agreement between China Central Television and PTV and Pakistan Television Foundation on the rebroadcasting of CCTV-NEWS/CCTV -9 Documentary in Pakistan, protocols on establishment of Sister Cities Relationship between Chengdu city (Sichuan province) and Lahore City, Zhuhai City (Guangdong province) and Gwadar city, Karamay City (Xianjian Ugur) and Gwadar city, agreement between Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project, commercial contract and agreement on financing for Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project, Port Qasim 2x660MW Coal-fired Power Plant, 720MW Karot Hydropower Project, Jhimpir Wind Power project, Thar Block II 3.8Mt, Thar Block II 2x330MW Coal Fired Power Project, financing cooperation agreement in implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor between the China Development Corporation and HBL, cooperation between WAPDA and CTG, MoU among PPIB, CTG, and Silk Road Fund on Development of Private Hydro Power Projects, facility operating agreement for Dawood Wind Power project between ICBC and PCC of China and HDPPL, and framework agreement for promoting Chinese Investments and Industrial Parks Developments in Pakistan between ICBC and HBL on financial services corporation.

 

Benefit for all provinces

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof Ahsan Iqbal said, “the agreements would be a game-changer for the entire region and uplift the lives of people in all provinces and regions of Pakistan by making Pakistan hub of a new region comprising of around three billion people across China, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

“The corridor will link Kashghar in Western China with the deep sea Port in Gwadar, Pakistan through a mesh of communication networks comprising of a world-class seaport, commercial sea lines, an airport, highways, railways, fibre optic cables as well as oil and gas pipelines, he said, adding that for China, the CPEC was part of a wider ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy to develop its western region and link the Silk Route Economic Belt to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route. “For Pakistan, it is the realization of one of seven pillars of growth relating to regional connectivity of its development strategy Vision 2025, that aims to make the country the next Asian Tiger,” he said.

The Minister maintained that the CPEC would cater to the needs of all federating units through extensive rail and road network and multiple projects in energy sector. “The Corridor project comprises modern highway and railway transportation system; linking Kashgar in West China, to Khunjrab in the north and onwards to Karachi and Gwadar in the south of Pakistan through multiple routes.

Energy sector has been assigned top priority to help Pakistan overcome energy shortages in order to achieve higher growth rates for speedy development.

The corridor projects initially envisage $34 billion investment in energy sector and around $11 billion in infrastructure sector,” he enlisted major projects, adding that both countries had finalised plans to add 10,400MWs of electricity capacity through early harvest energy generation projects spread all across the country to be completed by 2017/18, and another 6,645 MWs of projects for energy on the actively promoted list.

“All energy projects will be on commercial basis in investment mode. After completing all the requisite regulatory and other facilitation requirements the two sides have concluded financial close for 200MW wind power projects, 5,580MWs of coal-based power generation projects, 1,590MW hydro power project, 1,000MW solar project and 3.8 MTPA coal mining project during visit of Chinese President,” he mentioned. Ahsan Iqbal providing details of the project maintained, “the Gwadar Port Project is the centrepiece of Pak-China strategic partnership with its strategic location and potential for becoming the future economic and energy hub”.

“Cluster of projects under the CPEC will transform it into one of the world’s leading port cities having top-class commercial and tourist facilities, integrated infrastructure and investment opportunities. This will make Gwadar a catalyst for development of the Makran Coast and Balochistan in particular, and Pakistan in general,” he observed.

While negating propaganda attached to the Corridor, the Minister said the CPEC would benefit all provinces and bring peace, harmony, cooperation and economic development in the entire country. “The provincial capitals Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, and Lahore are all major nodes of the project, whilst less-developed regions of the country including FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan, South Punjab, Thar in interior Sindh and Gwadar in Balochistan, will be brought into the folds of active development. Harnessing the wealth of hitherto untapped coal reserves for the last 67 years in drought-ridden Thar will transform it into an energy capital of the world,” he observed.

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