New CPEC stories:
1 October 2016 update: Iran and Saudi Arabia – both on the opposite side of the worldview and everything that comes with it including Middle East conflicts and proxy wars – are eager to join CPEC. Now, this calls for some celebration.
30 Sept: Chinese government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to to lend Pakistan $8 billion to upgrade the main railway line (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar. With this loan, CPEC is now worth $51.5 billion. China’s concessional loan amounts to $5.5 billion, while ADB financing of $2.5 billion is for the Lahore-Peshawar railway track.
29 Sept: China and Pakistan have agreed to hold 6th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting in the last week of November to discuss and approve a future roadmap of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC).
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29 August: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the CPEC Summit and Expo at Islamabad’s Pakistan-China Friendship Centre. It is attended by Chinese and Pakistani investors. Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong also spoke.
18 August: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed formulation of a mechanism for continuously reviewing the progress and speedy implementation of all the projects under CPEC. Addressing the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad he expressed satisfaction over the pace of ongoing energy and infrastructure projects under the CPEC and directed that the timelines of all the projects must be met.
20 July: Amid rumours of discontent on part of the Chinese government about CPEC, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong quashed all such rumours, saying that China was “satisfied with the smooth implementation on the corridor”. “China is satisfied with the pace of implementation of the CPEC project. CPEC is under smooth implementation, and will deliver mutual benefits to both countries and peoples of the whole region,” said the ambassador.
24 May: Gwadar has been made tax free for 40 years for local and foreign investors.
6 May: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the construction of Sukkur-Multan Motorway. The six-lane, 393km motorway is part of the eastern route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and will complete in three years at a cost of Rs294 billion. The motorway will begin at Multan and terminate at Sukkur after passing through Jalalpur Pirwala, Ahmedpur East, Ubauro and Pano Aqil.
3 February: PASNI/HOSHAB: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurates 193km-long Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Motorway (M-8) in Balochistan. The portion of motorway, mostly constructed by Frontier Works Organization (FWO) to serve all Gwadar-bound traffic, is a vital part of western, central and eastern routes of CPEC. Later, PM Sharif and the Army Chief drove in a car together to inspect the project.
29 June 2016 update: Rs 49 billion have been set aside for western route of CPEC under PSDP. Also, how CPEC connects all four neighbours – China, India, Iran and Afghanistan
22 January: Main railway line from Karachi to Peshawar is being upgraded under CPEC. On the completion of this CPEC project by year 2020 with the help of Chinese government, speed on main line will be increased from 105km per hour to 160km per hour.
15 January: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the heads of all the parliamentary parties to redress their reservations over the CPEC. This is the second All Parties Conference (APC) on CPEC. The first APC was held on 28 May 2015.
12 January: On his Facebook page, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal uploads this official map of CPEC Highway Construction Program as included in Transportation Plan showing western route.
1 January 2016: ‘One corridor, multiple passages’ is the consensus, says the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad.
30 December 2015: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif laid the foundation stone of the western route (N-50 and N-70 sections of Zhob-Mughalkot Carriageway) of CPEC in Zhob. He was accompanied by ministers Abdul Qadir Baloch, Jam Kamal and NSA Nasir Janjua, and political leaders Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
21 December: A major installation and upgradation of railway tracks under the CPEC is announced. New railway tracks will be laid from Gwadar to Quetta and Jacobabad via Besima, Radio Pakistan said.
Some 560km of railway track will be laid from Bostan to Kotla Jam on main line-II via Zhob and Dera Ismail Khan, while 682km of track will be laid from Havelian to Khunjrab.
Upgradation of 1,872km of railway track from Karachi to Peshawar via Kotri, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi (including Taxila-Havelian) – along with dualisation of track from Shahdara to Peshawar – will also be carried out.
Some 1,254km of railway track from Kotri to Attock City via Dadu, Larkana, Jacobabad, DG Khan, Bhakkar, Kundian will be upgraded.
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the CPEC’s 118km-long Havelian-Thakot and 392km Sukkur-Multan sections of roads.
CPEC is one of 6 planned corridors of: China’s world-reshaping $225B One Belt, One Road (OBOR)
10 December: China Railway Construction Corporation said its unit, China Railway 20th Bureau Group Co, and Zahir Khan and Brothers Engineers and Constructors have secured a $1.46 billion contract to build the 1,152km section of Karachi-Lahore motorway. – The Economic Times.
27 July: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the Peshawar-Karachi motorway should be completed by 2017, energy projects under CPEC to be fast-tracked and Gwadar International Airport to be completed in the shortest possible time.
10 July: Pakistan becomes full-time member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
28 May: Western alignment of CPEC from Khunjrab to Gwadar to be completed first on priority basis. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gains support of all political parties on CPEC. The route is via Hasan Abdal, Mianwali, D.I. Khan, Zhob and all the way to Gwadar.
22 April: Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded his Pakistan visit and signed agreements worth an unprecedented US$46 billion.
VIDEO: CPEC by China TV
17 April: A Special Security Division (SSD) is being set up for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, consisting of nine battalions of the army and six battalions of the civilian forces. $250 million sanctioned for army force to guard Chinese personnel working on CPEC – $60 million annual budget.
11 March: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the first phase of the Karachi-Lahore (M-9) Motorway, which will cost Rs 36 billion. M-9 will facilitate people commuting between Karachi and major cities including Sukkur, Badin, Ghotki, Rohri, Dadu, Pannu Aqil, Ubaro, Sadiqabad, Rahim Yar Khan, Zahir Pir, Jalalpur Peerwala, Abdul Hakim, Mamu Kanjan and Nankana Sahib.
Industrial parks and special economic zones are part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) MoU recently agreed between the leaders of the two countries.
The key pre-requisite for the establishment of these zones are resolution of the energy crisis and building of a competitive infrastructure in Pakistan.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a 15-year plan and will be completed in four phases:
2018: Early Harvest
2020: Short Term
2025: Medium Term
2030: Long Term
How CPEC will benefit China: The above two maps tell why CPEC is more critical for China – perhaps more than Pakistan. And why this is likely to go ahead at all costs.
Pakistan: The brighter side:
Energy and infrastructure
The first phase of the economic corridor is focused on $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects. China’s state-owned banks will finance Chinese companies to fund, build and operate $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next six years, according to Reuters.
Major Chinese companies investing in Pakistan’s energy sector will include China’s Three Gorges Corp which built the world’s biggest hydro power project, and China Power International Development Ltd.
Under the agreement signed by Chinese and Pakistani leaders at a Beijing summit recently, $15.5 billion worth of coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects will come online by 2017 and add 10,400 megawatts of energy to the national grid. An additional 6,120 megawatts will be added to the national grid at a cost of $18.2 billion by 2021.
The transport and communication infrastructure – roads, railways, cable and oil and gas pipelines – will stretch 2,700 kilometers from Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to the Khunjerab Pass at the China-Pakistan border in the Karakorams.
Starting this year, the Chinese companies will invest an average of over $7 billion a year until 2021, a figure exceeding the previous record of $5.5 billion foreign direct investment in 2007 in Pakistan.
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Special economic zones
Beyond the initial phase, there are plans to establish special economic zones in the Corridor where Chinese companies will locate factories.
Extensive manufacturing collaboration between the two neighbours will include a wide range of products from cheap toys and textiles to consumer electronics and supersonic fighter planes.
The basic idea of an industrial corridor is to develop a sound industrial base, served by competitive infrastructure as a prerequisite for attracting investments into export oriented industries and manufacturing.
Such industries have helped a succession of countries like Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China and now even Vietnam rise from low-cost manufacturing base to more advanced, high-end exports.
As a country’s labour gets too expensive to be used to produce low-value products, some poorer country takes over and starts the climb to prosperity.
Once completed, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with a sound industrial base and competitive infrastructure combined with low labour costs is expected to draw growing FDI from manufacturers in many other countries looking for a low-cost location to build products for exports to rich OECD nations.
13 May 2015: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was aimed at economic progress of the entire region. He was addressing parliamentary leaders gathered at the Prime Minister House for the All Parties Conference for a briefing on the CPEC.
The projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and three routes explained.
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While the commitment is there on both sides to make the corridor a reality, there are many challenges that need to be overcome. The key ones are maintaining security and political stability, ensuring transparency, good governance and quality of execution.
These challenges are not unsurmountable but overcoming these does require serious effort on the part of both sides, particularly on the Pakistani side.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an ambitious effort by the two countries that will lead to greater investment and rapid industrialisation of Pakistan.
Successful implementation of it will be a game-changer for the people of Pakistan in terms of new economic opportunities leading to higher income and significant improvement in the living standards for ordinary Pakistanis.
Source: Defence.pk, agencies, news reports
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