CPEC is a project that falls under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI seeks to revive the ancient Silk Route through an infrastructural network that will span more than 60 countries. CPEC can roughly be divided into four categories i.e. Gwadar Port, Power Projects, Infrastructural Projects, and Industrial Cooperation.
On 26th May 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan launched four mega-development projects under CPEC in the fields of energy, technology, and education. The following projects have been agreed upon:
1. 660 KV transmission line project from Matiari to Lahore
2. Rashakai Special Economic Zone
3. Confucius Institute
4. Huawei Technical Support Center
For the transmission of power from coal-based power plants at Thar, Port Qasim and Hub, an 878km long transmission line of 660 KV is under construction between Matiari and Lahore. Hopefully, this project would evacuate 4000MW power from south to north by 1st March 2021.
To promote industrialization in KPK, Rashakai Special Economic Zone is also inaugurated. According to the joint venture of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), Rashakai Special Economic Zone will be developed on 1000 acres of land and 200,000 job opportunities in the region will improve the economic condition of the province. It will be the first industrial cooperation project under CPEC that will have pharmaceutical, food, textile, beverages, steel, and various electronics and electrical appliances and automobile and mechanical equipment industries. This project is near completion and soon it will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan. There will be an investment of 4 Billion PKR in this economic zone which will enable Chinese and Pakistani investors to invest in.
The signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Sargodha and Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) was held in Beijing on October 8, 2019. The Confucius Institute would play a pivotal role in developing a deeper understanding of the Chinese language and culture in Pakistan to bring the people of two brotherly countries closer.
China plans to establish a Huawei Technical Support Center by making an investment of $170 Million in Pakistan. The key objective of this investment is to set up regional headquarters and upgrade technical support centers in our country. In short, CPEC is a gateway to prosperity, a vehicle for regional amalgamation and a source for regional and international trade for Pakistan.