BEIJING (APP): The second phase of construction of CPEC will focus on industrial cooperation, agricultural cooperation, and construction of Gwadar port and socio-economic development, of which 27 new projects will be launched during the year. “During PM visit to China, the relevant departments of the two countries signed a series of cooperation documents, paving the way for the second phase of the construction of the CPEC,” Cheng Xizhong, Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law and Senior Research Fellow of the Chahar Institute, Special Commentator told “The Overseas Network” here on Saturday.
During the meeting, the leaders of the two countries pointed out the direction for the next phase of promoting the construction of the China-Pakistan economic corridor, stressing that the corridor should be turned into a high-quality demonstration project to build the Belt and Road. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, jointly established by the two countries, is the flagship project of the Belt and Road. After more than four years of joint efforts, the first phase of the investment of US $ 19 billion in 22 projects have been completed and put into operation, and some are nearing completion.
These major projects, mainly related to energy and transport infrastructure, were completely alleviated by Pakistan’s long-standing power supply shortage and partially created a smooth highway network, thus setting the stage for a rapid track for Pakistan’s future socio-economic development.
Cheng said it is foreseeable that the scope of corridor construction will continue to expand and the pace will continue to accelerate, especially as China will actively help Pakistan to carry out projects in the field of people’s livelihood. Cheng remarked over the years, Pakistan has experienced occasional financial crises, mainly caused by foreign exchange shortages. The continued development of the China-Pakistan economic corridor will gradually improve Pakistan’s fiscal position.
For example, the Qasim Port coal-fired power station is a priority implementation project in the CPEC, which has contributed US $167 million to the Pakistani government’s tax revenue in the past year or so. Experts estimate that the first phase of 22 projects are fully completed and operational, the government’s tax contribution to the Pakistani government is likely to reach nearly US $ 10 billion. With the second phase of industrial parks and special economic zones, it is believed that more and more governments and enterprises will recognize the huge potential investment value of Pakistan.