By Wali Zahid | IMC

Major CPEC news in 2019

5 Nov 2019: Pakistan and China set a new ↓ direction of CPEC by largely shifting away from infrastructure projects, except the $9 billion Main Line-1 (ML1) project. Other decisions to expand the CPEC scope to copper, gold, and oil and gas sectors were taken during the 9th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting in Islamabad.

28 April 2019: List of Agreements signed during PM IK’s visit to Beijing for BRF 2019, according to Chinese Embassy in Islamabad:

1. CPFTA-II (China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement Phase II)

2. Rashakai SEZ Concession Agreement

3. Declaration of Completion of Preliminary Design Phase-I on Upgradation of ML1

4. China-Pakistan Economic & Technological Cooperation Agreement

5. MoU on CPEC Social Economic Cooperation

Major CPEC news in 2018

20 Dec 2018: The 8th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting on CPEC is being held today in Islamabad. The JCC included an MoU on industrial cooperation and establishing a cooperation framework on socioeconomic development.

10 September 2018: PM Imran Khan establishes a nine-member committee to evaluate CPEC projects. It is scheduled to meet for the first time this week and will “think through CPEC – all of the benefits and the liabilities”, says Abdul Razak Dawood, who sits on the new committee, and is advisor to PM on commerce, textiles, industry and investment.

“I think we should put everything on hold for a year so we can get our act together,” he added. “Perhaps we can stretch CPEC out over another five years or so.”

Several other officials and advisers concur that extending the terms of CPEC loans and spreading projects out over a longer timeframe is the preferred option, rather than outright cancellation. – says a news report in Financial Times, London.

13 July 2018: Pakistan and China inaugurate the optic fibre cable that has been laid to provide direct link between Pakistan, the Middle Asia and East Asia. Caretaker PM Nasirul Mulk, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing were present at the inauguration ceremony in Islamabad.

The cable connects Rawalpindi with Khunjerab on the Pakistan-China border at an altitude of 4,700 meters, the highest fibre cable project in the world. Later, the cable will be extended to Gwadar, which will fully connect Pakistan and China.

Total cost was estimated at $44 million and Exim Bank of China provided 85% of loan at a concessionary rate. Construction work on the project started in March 2016 and ended in June 2018. The cable covers an area of 820km. There are 26 microwave transmission nodes from Rawalpindi to Karimabad and 171 km of aerial fibre cable from Karimabad to Khunjerab as a back-up. – Express Tribune.

7 March 2018: A first commercial shipment carrying containers of seafood from Gwadar leaves for Dubai’s Jebel Ali port. With this, China’s state-owned shipping and logistics services supplier, China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), starts a weekly container shipping service from Gwadar Port every Wednesday.

Major CPEC news in 2017

18 Dec: The CPEC Long Term Plan (LTP) approved by both Chinese and Pakistani governments has been unveiled in Islamabad. According to Chinese Embassy tweets:

By 2020, the CPEC will take the initial shape, major bottlenecks to Pakistan’s economic and social development will be addressed, and the CPEC will start to boost the economic growth along it for both countries.

By 2025, the CPEC building phase done, the industrial system nearly complete, major economic functions brought into play in a holistic way, the people’s livelihood along the CPEC significantly improved and regional economic development more balanced.

By 2030, the CPEC building phase to be entirely accomplished, endogenous mechanism for sustainable economic growth in place, CPEC’s role in stimulating economic growth in Central and South Asia brought into holistic play, and South Asia to grow into international economic zone with global influence.

The LTP has an ambitious goal and an arduous task. As long as governments and people of two countries treat each other with all sincerity and cooperate sincerely, they will build CPEC into an open, inclusive one with economic prosperity, social stability and security, and wellbeing of people.

The LTP will provide macro guidance for implementation of CPEC in next phase. The plan will be adjusted based on real situation as well as the consensus between two parties during its implementation in future. New routes/ nodes/ aspects may be considered in future by mutual agreement.

21 Nov: The 7th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting on CPEC is being held today in Islamabad.

8 Nov: The 7th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting on CPEC will be held on 21 Nov in Islamabad. It will approve nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be constructed along CPEC. The planned nine SEZs with special incentive packages for foreign investors will be operational by 2025.

Financing agreements on three road projects – remaining portion of Karakoram Highway (KKH), D.I. Khan to Zhob and Khuzdar to Basima will be signed at the meeting. It is likely that CPEC long term plan will also be approved at JCC. In addition, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project may also be placed for final approval.

7 Nov: President Mamnoon Hussain inaugurates Bank of China’s operations in Pakistan, says China has emerged as a major investor and partner for Islamabad. Bank of China Chairman Chen Siqing says the Karachi branch is its first in South Asia.

18 Oct: A delegation of Chinese experts and investors was in Pakistan during 11-18 October to explore new trade avenues and investment opportunities in 9 SEZs. They held workshops and meeting in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad organised by the Board of Investment (BoI). They also visited SEZs in Punjab, Sindh, Rawalpindi, Gilgit-Baltistan and Gwadar Port Industrial Zone in Balochistan.

8 Sept: PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi forms an 11-member Cabinet Committee on CPEC, overhauling the existing institutional arrangement and bypassing the planning ministry. The CPEC committee members are finance minister, interior minister, foreign minister, railways minister, ports and shipping minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs Dr Miftah Ismail, Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad, the Federal Board of Revenue chairman, and the Secretaries of Planning and Cabinet divisions.

13 July: 46 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will be established along side the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route in the long run, Board of Investment (BoI) chairman Dr Miftah Ismail tells Pakistan-China Industrial Cooperation Dialogue. Nine zones (see below) have already been declared prioritised during the 6th JCC meeting held in December 2016.

12 July: Speaking at a two-day CPEC Logistics International Forum (CLIF) in Islamabad organised by army’s NLC (National Logistics Cell), Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Bajwa says CPEC will be a game changer. Assuring the project’s continuity and security, he says the army will fully guard the CPEC plan.

11 July: Li Xuedoung, DG, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China, says the plan to upgrade ML-1, the main railway track joining Peshawar with Karachi, is a key priority of the working agenda under CPEC. Li meets Khawja Saad Rafique, Minister for Railways at his office.

The ML-1 upgradation project will be completed in five years at the cost of $8 billion. China will provide $5.5 billion while $2.5 billion will come from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

3 July: The 1320MW Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant (Units 1 & 2) – CPEC’s one of early-harvest projects – is completed ahead of time in 22 months and goes into operation. Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif and a Chinese minister inaugurate it, with Chinese ambassador in attendance.

28 May: First round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan practical cooperation dialogue is held in Beijing. The dialogue is co-chaired by Mansoor Ahmed Khan, Xiao Qian and Khalid Payenda. Three sides appreciate CPEC and its benefits for promoting regional connectivity.

28 May: MoU is signed with China for upgradation of Peshawar to Karachi Railway line called ML-1 as the federal government allocates over Rs 42 billion in new budget to reinvigorate railways network.

25 May: The 660MW Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant (Unit 1) – one of CPEC’s early harvest projects – becomes operational today. PM Sharif inaugurates it. Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif is a force behind its earlier-than-scheduled completion.

12 May: PM Sharif and the four chief ministers arrive in Beijing to attend Belt and Road Forum on 14-15 May where they are likely to sign various MoUs.

11 May: Pakistan’s Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approves Gwadar East Bay Expressway

16 March | Gwadar

  • Addressing a public gathering in Gwadar, PM Sharif says 1,100km roads are being constructed in Balochistan
  • Federal Minister SAFRON Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch says more than 60 countries are willing to invest in Gwadar
  • PM announces to build a university and a 300-beds hospital in Gwadar

14 March: Construction work on Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project will start soon: PM Sharif speaking in Karachi

7 March: A team of Chinese engineers is in Quetta to start work on the Quetta Mass Transit Train (QMTT) Project. After a feasibility report, the Chinese firm has sought an NOC from the government to start work on 48km QMTT from Spezant to Kuchlak. In the current budget, the Balochistan government has allocated Rs 1 billion for QMTT feasibility. In December, the project was included in CPEC at 6th JCC in Beijing. The QMTT funds will come from CPEC kitty.

6 March: The federal government plans to build a CPEC Tower in Islamabad. As a sign of Pak-China friendship, the tallest building in the capital will serve as a symbol of socioeconomic progress Pakistan is making across all fronts and will attract investors.

5 Feb: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is now worth $57 billion, according to Reuters news agency. Other agencies term the current projects valued at $51 billion.

3 Feb: PM Sharif inaugurates the completed first 75km-section of the 136km six-lane Karachi-Hyderabad (M-9) Motorway. The sections 2 and 3 will be completed by March and July respectively by FWO.

As part of Peshawar-Lahore-Karachi motorway route, M-9 will connect Karachi with the rest of the country and also facilitate the CPEC traffic. According to one guesstimate, once completed, CPEC-related toll tax collection may amount to a couple of billion dollars a year.

January:  9 CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

Under next development phase, nine CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being set up in the country, as agreed in the 6th JCC in Beijing on 29 Dec last year.

Of these, two industrial zones are being set up by the federal government in Islamabad and Karachi. The rest of seven are established each in Punjab, Sindh, KP, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fata and Azad Kashmir. Here are details:

Federal 1: ICT Model Industrial Zone, Islamabad

Federal 2: Development of Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel Mills Land at Port Qasim near Karachi

KP: Rashakai Economic Zone on M-1

Sindh: Dhabeji SEZ

Balochistan: Bostan Industrial Zone

Punjab: Punjab-China Economic Zone, M-2 Sheikhupura district

AJK: Bhimber Industrial Zone

FATA: Mohmand Marble City

Gilgit-Baltistan: Moqpondass SEZ

China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor 2

27 Jan: In a major development, which is a milestone in its execution, Sahiwal Power Plant has been connected with the national grid (500KVA Line). It is six months ahead of schedule. First coal-laden 1,500-tonnes freight train arrives at Sahiwal coal power plant from Port Qasim Karachi on 1 Feb. Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif receives.

3 Jan: Milestone: Another big Chinese ship visits Gwadar Port. After three years of maintenance and renovation, the port is restored to its designed capacity. Gwadar Free Zone is now under construction: Lijian Zhao, DCM, Chinese Embassy

Major CPEC news in 2016

30 Dec: Under CPEC’s next development phase, nine industrial zones will be set up in the country, the 6th JCC in Beijing agreed. Of these, two industrial zones will be set up by the federal government in Islamabad and Karachi, while the rest of seven will be established each in Punjab, Sindh, KP, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fata and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

29 Dec: The sixth meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) in Beijing approves inclusion of these projects in CPEC framework: Karachi Circular Railways, Keti Bunder sea port development project and Diamer-Basha Dam.

It also agrees on Mass Transit Railways projects in each of the provincial headquarters to facilitate millions of people besides setting up SEZs.

New road projects on the western route were also approved. These include 136km Thakot-Raikot (remaining portion of N-35) in addition to 118km KKH Phase II (Thakot-Havelian section); and upgradation of 210km D.I.Khan-Zhob (N-50 Phase-I).

In Balochistan, 210km dual carriageway from Yarik to Zhob and 110km Khuzdar-Basima N-30 road will be built.

CPEC new provincial projects

  • Chitral CPEC link road from Gilgit, Shandor, Chitral to Chakdara
  • Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra road construction for connectivity with CPEC route
  • Naukundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur road project connecting with M-8 & N-85
  • Quetta water supply scheme from Pat feeder canal, Balochistan
  • Iron ore mining, processing & steel mills complex at Chiniot, Punjab

During 2013-2016, the JCC on CPEC has held six meetings:

JCC 6: 29 December 2016 |Beijing

JCC 5: 12 November 2015 | Karachi

JCC 4: 15 March 2015 | Beijing

JCC 3: 27 August 2014 | Beijing

JCC 2: 9 February 2014 | Beijing

JCC 1: 27 August 2013 | Islamabad

22 Dec: The sixth JCC meeting on CPEC will be held on 29 December in Beijing. Three chief ministers are likely to attend.

Have you seen other CPEC stories on this blog?

19 Dec: A gate-free and signal-free 1,872km railway track from Karachi to Peshawar (ML-1) costing $8.2 billion will be constructed: Railways Minister

14 Dec: In Turbat, PM Sharif inaugurate 448km N-85 Sorab-Hoshab road on the Western route of CPEC. The road, upgraded by FWO at a cost of Rs 22 billion, will link Gwadar Port with N-25 National Highway near Sorab/Quetta.

14 Dec: A Chinese cargo ship is arriving at Gwadar on 15 December. The cargo is for business centre in Gwadar Free Zone (GFZ).

13 Dec: Pakistan Navy assembles a Task Force-88 (TF-88) for the seaward security of Gwadar port, organises a maritime conference on CPEC attended by all service chiefs and CJCSC. Snippets by Andrew Small:

  • Chinese ambassador, speaking in Gwadar: CPEC has already created 10,000 jobs in Pakistan, including 400 in Gwadar.
  • DG, GDA: The whole of the Gwadar Master Plan Area will be declared as a Special Economic Zone on the Shenzhen model, not just the Free Zone.
  • Iranian official: Discussions on a rail-link between Chabahar and Gwadar are ongoing; we have already agreed they will be sister ports
  • Chairman, China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC): Gwadar will be the largest shipping centre in South Asia by 2022.

1 Dec: China and Pakistan launch direct rail and sea freight service between Kunming and Karachi cutting transport cost by over 50 percent.

26 Nov | Turkmenistan

PM Sharif meets Turkmenistan President. Says many countries want to be part of CPEC following Iran and Turkmenistan and half of world’s population to benefit from CPEC project. South and Central Asia to be connected through road and rail.

17 Nov | Islamabad

  • PM Sharif offers Turkish investors to invest in CPEC
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while on a two-day visit to Pakistan: Turkey believes CPEC will become a source of international peace and stability
  • Earlier, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan attends CPEC ceremony at Gwadar Port where Turkey confirms participation in the CPEC project
  • Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pays an official visit to Turkey and meets his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
  • China declares 2018 as the Turkey Tourism Year in China
  • All in a week. This week.

13 Nov | Gwadar

A historic day: A dream turned into reality. In two years, the 2,500km CPEC trade route that links Xinjiang province in China with Gwadar goes live with the opening of Gwadar Port for trade activity.

There are three firsts today, according to Lijian Zhao of China Embassy:

1. Gwadar is exporting containers

2. The Western route of CPEC is open to traffic

3. China and Pakistan undertake joint trade convoy

Earlier in a grand ceremony, PM Sharif inaugurates the first mega pilot trade project at Gwadar Port (photo below).

Federal Ministers Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua accompany the PM in addition to politicians Mir Hasil Bizenjo of National Party and Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI (F).

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong also speaks as Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri welcomes the guests.

Full-length coverage by Dawn.


11 Nov: The first Chinese trade convoy of 60 containers arrives in Gwadar on Friday evening via western route of CPEC. Originating from Kashghar in China, it reaches Gwadar via Khunjrab border, Sust dry port and Quetta. Chinese goods from Gwadar Port will be exported to African and Middle Eastern countries. The convoy took 12 days to reach Gwadar from Khunjrab.

The second trade convoy is reaching Gwadar on Saturday.

At the same time, a pilot activity ship – COSCO Wellington – docks at Gwadar Port to carry Chinese and Pakistani goods to Africa and Middle East. It will leave for Dubai on Sunday.

9 Nov: The first Kashghar-Gwadar trade convoy of 60 Chinese containers arrives in Quetta via western route of CPEC. It will reach Gwadar on 12 Nov. Yuan, chief adviser of Chinese Xinjiang province, meets Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Zehri who terms it a remarkable progress.

The convoy is part of the 200-container caravan and Chinese products will be exported to African and other countries through Gwadar Port.

9 Nov: President Mamnoon Hussain and PM Sharif say no obstacle in the way of timely completion of CPEC project will be tolerated.

7 Nov: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approves D.I. Khan Motorway project, with acquisition of 7,496 acres of land for construction of 285km 4-lane expressway as part of the western route of CPEC. The project will cost Rs 11.973 billion without foreign exchange component.

7 Nov: The Special Committee of Senate on CPEC in its third interim report raises concern over inadequate width of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) to cater to future traffic volume to be generated by the CPEC. It suggests immediate steps to widen the KKH and proposes additional alternative route for the CPEC by connecting Gahkuch to Shandur and to Chitral via Shandur Pass.

30 Oct: First convoy of 100 Chinese containers arrives at Sust dry port near Khunjrab border, Hunza. 45 containers left for Gwadar. Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman attends the inaugural ceremony.

27 Oct: Chinese bank ICBC shows willingness to provide finances for industrial projects along the CPEC.

20 Oct: National Highway Authority (NHA) approves construction of motorway link for the western route of CPEC. The four-lane 49km Yark-Sago Motorway will cost Rs 13 billion. NHA okays to double the width of 128km Sarai Gambila-Kohat section of Indus Highway at a cost Rs 30 billion.

18 Oct: China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong meets with PTI Chairman Imran Khan where Khan assured the Chinese envoy that his party supports the Sharif government over the CPEC plan.

17 Oct: China welcomes Iran’s inclusion in CPEC, says China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong.

1 Oct: 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: The Chinese government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) agree to to lend Pakistan $8 billion to upgrade the main railway line (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar. China’s concessional loan amounts to $5.5 billion, while ADB financing is worth $2.5 billion.

CPEC official website

Leveraging social media for CPEC & OBOR: A keynote by Wali at a CPEC conference

27 Sept: China has so far invested $14 billion in 40 early-harvest projects to be completed under CPEC, a flagship project of the One Belt One Road initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Out of the 40 projects, 16 are under construction, a statement quotes Zhao Lijian, DCM Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, as saying.


25 Sept: A large Chinese ship named Tian Fu docking at Gwadar carrying construction materials for Gwadar Free Zone.

12 Sept: A CPEC summit of top government leaders and investors in Islamabad projects the overall international investment in CPEC – covering 2015 to 2030 – will shoot up to $150 billion, terming the initial $46 billion only a start, a report in Khaleej Times says.

1 Sept: PM Sharif inaugurates five developmental projects in Gwadar, Balochistan. He says Pakistan is Gwadar and Gwadar is Pakistan and development projects will go ahead at any cost.

The development projects include a free trade zone, business complex of Gwadar Port Authority, Pak-China Government Primary School Faqir Colony (photo above), Sawar and Shadikor dams and Gwadar University.

The Gwadar airport will cost Rs 29 billion while the Gwadar motorway will cost Rs 150 billion. About 50,000 jobs will be created in Gwadar.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC

How CPEC will benefit China: This maps above tells us why CPEC – an OBOR project – is of central importance to China and why this is likely to go ahead at all costs. A 13,000km sea-based route to be replaced by a safer 2,000+km land-based route for transportation of goods to Hormuz Strait in Persian Gulf. Source: SCMP

When Chinese Leadership style meets Pakistani: Wali’s Talk PPt for China Mobile/ Zong strategy team

Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Wali Zahid

The map below tells us the time reduced for transporting Chinese goods and energy to Persian Gulf: From 45 days to less than 10 days.

how cpec will benefit china China-Pakistan Economic Corridor map

1 Sept: PM Sharif inaugurates Rs 4.7 billion 174km Sibi-Kohlu Highway. This will become the shortest route from Quetta to D.G. Khan from the current 600km journey.

29 Aug: PM Sharif inaugurates the CPEC Summit and Expo at Islamabad’s Pakistan-China Friendship Centre. It is attended by Chinese and Pakistani investors.

18 Aug: PM Sharif directs formulation of a mechanism for reviewing the progress and speedy implementation of all CPEC projects. Addressing the federal cabinet he expresses satisfaction over the pace of ongoing energy and infrastructure projects and directs that the timelines of all the projects be met.

Pakistan’s travel infrastructure

Mass-transit transport in urban Pakistan taking shape

For Rs 20, take a Metro ride from Pindi to Islamabad

Test run of Orange Line Metro Train Lahore

Multan gets its Metro bus service

e-ticketing on Green Line train from Islamabad to Karachi

Karachi to get Green Line bus service by end-2017

VIDEO: What is CPEC? Source: China TV

26 July: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong says work on CPEC is going on in a comprehensive manner and supported by all stakeholders. Addressing an event of China Southern Airlines in Islamabad, he says projects under CPEC will be extended to other sectors including science and technology. He says flights between China and Pakistan are being run daily and their numbers will increase in future.

20 July: Amid rumours of discontent on the part of the Chinese government about CPEC, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong quashes all such rumours, saying that China was “satisfied with the smooth implementation on the corridor.”

24 May: Gwadar has been made tax free for 40 years for local and foreign investors.

6 May: PM Sharif inaugurates the construction of Sukkur-Multan Motorway. The six-lane, 393km motorway is part of the eastern route of CPEC and will complete in three years at a cost of Rs 294 billion. The motorway will begin at Multan and end at Sukkur after passing through Jalalpur Pirwala, Ahmedpur East, Ubauro and Panno Aqil.

3 Feb: PASNI/HOSHAB: PM Sharif inaugurates 193km Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Motorway (M-8) in Balochistan. This 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 Army Chief General Sharif drove in a jeep together to inspect the project.

More about China:

China’s world-reshaping Belt and Road Initiative

What China signalled through Belt and Road Forum

What is reshaping the world while we are unaware?

The World Bank, meet your challenger: China-led AIIB

BRICS New Development Bank to increase lending to $2.5B next year

How China beats US economy by a trillion dollar every year

How China is viewed by Pakistan & the world

With a parade, China announces itself as the next superpower: TIME

Xi Jinping: most powerful Chinese leader since Mao

Africa: Nigeria largest economy, China largest single trading partner

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor map

29 June: 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.

24 Jan: Construction of Gwadar international airport, Pakistan’s largest airport spread over 4,800 acres, will start in March. Initial cost is estimated at Rs 29 billion. Once completed in three years under CPEC projects, big planes like Airbus A380 can land here. – Geo

22 Jan: Main railway line from Karachi to Peshawar is being upgraded under CPEC. Once it completes by year 2020 with the help of Chinese loan, speed on main line will increase from 105km per hour to 160km per hour.

15 Jan: PM Sharif chairs 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.

official map of CPEC - Highway Construction Program

12 Jan: Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal uploads this official map of CPEC Highway Construction Program as included in Transportation Plan showing western route.

CPEC is one of six planned corridors of: China’s world-reshaping $225B One Belt, One Road (OBOR).

one corridor, multiple passages

1 Jan: ‘One corridor, multiple passages’ is the consensus, says the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad in a press release.

Major CPEC news in 2015

30 Dec: PM Sharif lays foundation stone of the western route (N-50 and N-70 sections of Zhob-Mughalkot Carriageway) of CPEC in Zhob. He is accompanied by federal ministers Lt-Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Jam Kamal and NSA Lt-Gen Nasir Janjua, and political leaders MNA Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI-F and MNA Mehmood Khan Achakzai of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.

21 Dec: 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.

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 Thakot-Havelian and 392km Sukkur-Multan sections of roads.


The $46 billion CPEC with energy projects worth $34 billion. Map: Wall Street Journal. WSJ contrasts the Chinese investment with $5 billion US aid in six years. Latest here: Pakistan 5th largest recipient of US aid this year.

10 Dec: 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

28 Nov: PM Sharif directs the NHA that western route of CPEC to be upgraded from current two-lane highway to a four-lane motorway, with several industrial zones along the route.

Land will be acquired for six lanes so the motorway can be further upgraded to six lanes when future needs demand it. To fund this additional expense, ADB will be approached. In case of a no, PSD funds will be utilised. – Geo

VIDEO: Pakistan signs 43-year lease for Gwadar port with China. Source: CCTV

14 Sep: Pakistan signs 43-year lease for Gwadar port with China. Pakistan rents 2,300 acres to China for developing the first special economic zone (SEZ) in the deep sea port of Gwadar.

The SEZ and the port will be part of the CPEC that aims to improve economic cooperation between the two countries. – CCTV

14 Sept: PM Sharif inaugurates Pakistan-China Friendship Tunnels and Atta Abad Bridge. China has constructed the $275-million 24km portion of Karakorum Highway (KKH) on Atta Abad Lake in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Hunza valley, five years after a massive landslide destroyed the road. The project consists of five tunnels with a total length of 7km, two bridges and 78 culverts.


29 July: Effective 18 August, PIA, the official airline, is now introducing third weekly flight from Islamabad to Beijing, in a show of strengthening Pakistan-China friendship and to cater to increased traffic between the two CPEC stakeholders.

27 July: PM Sharif says 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.

25 July: PANJGUR: Army Chief General Raheel Sharif says Gwadar port and CPEC will be completed at all costs. According to ISPR, 502km out of 870km length of roads have already been constructed.

10 July: Pakistan becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

28 May: Western alignment of CPEC from Khunjrab to Gwadar to be completed first on priority basis. PM Sharif gains support of all political parties on CPEC. The route is via Hasan Abdal, Mianwali, D.I. Khan and Zhob all the way to Gwadar.

13 May: PM Sharif says CPEC aims at economic progress of the entire region. He was addressing parliamentary leaders gathered at the PM House for the All Parties Conference for a briefing on the CPEC.


11 May: The beginning: A container is loaded to a ship during the inauguration ceremony of container service at a pier of Gwadar Port.

22 April: Chinese President Xi Jinping concludes his Pakistan visit and signs agreements worth an unprecedented US$46 billion with PM Sharif (an unofficial projects map below). Official list of CPEC projects here.

Industrial parks and special economic zones (SEZs) are part of the CPEC MoU agreed between the leaders of the two countries. A key prerequisite for establishing SEZs is resolving the energy crisis and building of a competitive infrastructure in Pakistan.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

The projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and three routes explained

17 April: A Special Security Division (SSD) is being set up for the CPEC, consisting of nine battalions of the army and six battalions of the civilian forces. $250 million has been sanctioned for army force to guard Chinese personnel working on CPEC. The annual budget will be $60 million.

11 March: PM Sharif inaugurates the construction of 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.

9-11 Jan 2014: The first meeting of the JCC working group on transport is held in Pakistan.

5 July 2013: Pakistan and China sign eight MoUs including one on a long-term economic corridor, capping a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in the Chinese capital Beijing.

The 2,500km road and rail link connecting the northwestern city of Kashgar to Gwadar port is among eight pacts inked by the two countries. The corridor is expected to cost around $18 billion. Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal inks the pact from the Pakistani side while the chairman of the National Development and Reforms Commission signs it from the Chinese side.

An MoU on the Lahore-Karachi Motorway is also signed and PM Sharif asks concerned departments to complete the project in 2.5 years.

The two countries also sign a $44 million agreement on setting a fibre-optic cable from the China-Pakistan border to Rawalpindi. The document is signed by Strategic Communication Organisation of Pakistan and Huawei Technologies Company. – Agencies

CPEC (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

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an infrastructure project of unprecedented scale in Pakistan that is likely to result in rapid industrialisation of this currently underperforming economy.

While it facilities China to transport its goods and oil to Persian Gulf through a land route in less than half the time, CPEC will be a game-changer for ordinary Pakistanis in terms of new economic opportunities to set up businesses and scale them.

CPEC could be our pathway to prosperity, higher living standards and a developed country in a few decades.

CPEC is chiefly energy and infrastructure

The first phase of the CPEC is focused on $46 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects. China’s state-owned banks will finance Chinese companies to fund, build and operate CPEC 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 10,400MW of energy to the national grid. An additional 6,120MW 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 2,400km from Gwadar to 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.

See also, some other indices on Pakistan:

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Pakistan’s global competitiveness – in 11 photos

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Pakistani nationality ranks second least valuable in the world

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Special economic zones (SEZs)

Beyond the initial phase, there are plans to establish special economic zones (SEZs) in the Corridor where Chinese companies will build factories, resulting in developing an industrial base.

Extensive manufacturing collaboration will include a wide range of products from cheap toys and textiles to consumer electronics and supersonic fighter planes.

Similar collaboration has helped countries like Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China and 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. This could be true in the current scenario of Chinese labour costs increasing and manufacturing potentially coming to Pakistan.

Once completed, the CPEC with a sound industrial base and competitive infrastructure combined with low labour costs is expected to draw growing FDI from other countries looking for a low-cost location to build products for exports to rich OECD nations.

How the CPEC started

The CPEC is one of the six corridors planned under President Xi Jinping’s OBOR Initiative.

On 22-23 May 2013 after the PMLN wins the 11-May general elections and just a few days before Nawaz Sharif takes oath as PM, Chinese PM Li Keqiang visits Pakistan. An MoU for the CPEC is signed during that visit.

The MoU on cooperation for long-term plan on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is signed by China National Development and Reform Commission’s Chairman Xu Shao Shi and, Advisor to the Prime Minister Shahid Amjad Chaudhry.

President Asif Ali Zardari and the Chinese PM witness the MoU signing.

On 4-5 July 2013, Nawaz Sharif visits China for further deliberation on the CPEC and sign eight MoUs.

Pakistan’s Ministry for Planning and China’s National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) are nominated as the focal ministries.

These ministries then nominated members for a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) to plan, oversee and implement the project.

The world we live in:

The world in 2100

In a few years, people may live up to 100 years

The world’s most spoken languages

Saudi Arabia is building the world’s tallest tower

Total fertility rate falling in world; rising in Africa, Pakistan

Pakistan 6th most populous country now and in 2050

Key challenges to CPEC

  • Maintaining security for the corridor and Chinese officials and workers
  • Political stability and continuity of civilian governments
  • Likely fight for control on CPEC resources and projects between key stakeholders
  • Drawing CPEC into domestic political fights by parties
  • Disinformation about CPEC through social and mass media

Wali Zahid is a Pakistani futurist, speaker, social media strategist and blogger. His blog,, is the most authentic place on everything Pakistan.

Wali was one of the first bloggers to post about CPEC as a game changer and THE first to publish an in-country post on OBOR.

Known for his widely-read Pakistan2050 forecast, Wali appears on national TV, occasionally writes for The News and speaks about CPEC and OBOR enthusiastically. He was part of the first nationwide brainstorming on Vision 2025 at Planning Commission in 2013.

Wali’s early work life was as a journalist where he worked for Dawn, The Nation and becoming Editor of The News, Lahore in 1991. He later worked briefly at BBC London. Later, he established Institute of Media & Communications (IMC) in Islamabad which offered training courses in print and TV journalism, advertising, cartooning and PR.

Wali has been a China watcher for 30 years and has seen China grow from just another country to become world’s next superpower.

Wali was an early adapter to online media, using email by 1994, first website in 1997, and early user of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

His Twitter followers include US President Barack Obama, several Pakistani ministers and media people. His FB page has over 150 fans and LinkedIn over 26k followers.

He can be reached on Twitter @walizahid

Understanding Pakistan Series by Wali

What to expect in Pakistan in 2017

Back to the future: Pakistan in 2050

Wali on Pakistan of future

Long Term Orientation in Pakistan: from Zero to 50 in 2 years

Pakistani culture through 6-D Model

Native languages in Pakistan

How future oriented are we?

How we messed up Pakistan: A series by Wali

Pakistan’s two value crimes no one talks about

Is Whatsapp your source of info? Welcome to Project Ignorance

  • Shahid Azeem

    Interesting and hopes are there but still more to do.

  • Frah Mukhtar

    a very busy layout… really glad, the connecting mesh is going to be really busy 🙂

  • Frah Mukhtar

    The people involved in construction are facing aggregate shortage, soon there will be cement shortage, skilled labor shortage… but this is inertia… once the ball sets rolling, there are going to be MAJOR changes… permanent increase labor in cost… might improve their living standard.


    is Pakistani politician serious in this matter or DEMAND kik baks from this project….and what political thought for it

    • syed zulqarnain haider

      Pakistani politician are really taking CPEC seriously because this project is all about the survival of Pakistan in the current global world.

  • Abdul Jabbar Chishti

    Glad to view above detailed CPEC road map,mission & vision, now it is the time to built a new strong & rich Pakistan for our new generation & for this we all the nation have to work for it. And if politicians want to change their negative image in front of the nation it is GOLDEN chance for them using their day and night efforts for accomplishment of CPEC.

    • DEEPAK


      • Bilawal Ali

        like india occupied on kashmir
        occupied on Hydrabad Dhakan
        is this true?

  • tariq Rahmani

    Some show incomplete map of PAKISTAN, many information are not clear.

  • Tahir Jawaid

    Dear Wali

    Thanks for a very comprehensive & yet concise write-up on CPEC. After many years there is an opportunity for our country to be really on the way to real progress, the gaps which had emerged can be plugged in collaboration with China.

    The projects & opportunities are real, GOP focus after struggling on this opportunity for last 2 years is becoming focused and execution oriented, let us see if it can sustain, once the ball gets rolling, it will open up Balochistan to mainstream and for me this is the biggest opportunity and win strategy.

    I hope our political elite can develop this with inclusive development & mainstreaming the benefits to the regional people. It would be interesting to see how things pan out in the future.

    Just a comment on Power target is coal both imported and local, hydro, wind & solar, as part of CPEC now there is transmission network projects two of them for evacuating power from South to North which will take power to the load centres. Let’s hope this becomes reality.

  • Mirza Sajid Baig

    Very optimistic. I pray it materializes and dreams of Pakistanis become a reality.

  • Vikas Lohia

    Simpy wow, truly magnificent plan. If this is materialized then entire world will view Pakistan differently.

    As an Indian, I have always pitched for politically stable and economically sound Pakistan.

    Success of CPEC will no doubt transform Pakistan and usher it in new era of prosperity but will also prove key to India’s security & stability.

    Best wishes to People of Pakistan.
    Vikas Lohia
    Catch me on Twitter

    • Adnan Ahmed Varaich

      Thank you dear Vikas Lohia; feels good to read your comments. Most certainly a sane voice and reflects the spirit we have been looking for vis-a-vis normal ties and relations between our two countries. You are right; fair and successful execution of the project CPEC is ought to be a game and perspective changer. Of course the world view of the region is destined to change.

      Love and respect from Pakistan as well,

      Adnan Ahmed Varaich

      • Ali

        It is the plan of handing over Pakistan to China…China will mostly be benefited as it directly says it will reduce the time travelling via current sea route to Gulf.

        China will build everything here with their own companies and workers. Will install new manufacturing sectors of its requirement and take out resource from Pakistan. Pakistan’s local manufacturers need to stop their business and peg at China.

        Pakistan won’t have any special goods to be exported via this corridor either to China or Gulf. It can only see Chinese going to and fro.

        Most importantly Pakistan need to identify the ways of giving the Loan of $46b to China with Interest.

        • Wali Zahid

          Kis ne bataya apko ye? Bari khatarnak soorat-e-haal hai ye tau.

  • AJ

    Walid Zahid Sb AOA

    Thanks for your Great Efforts.

    Kindly include my email address in your periodical circulations if any. Thanks


    just curious . isn’t it insane that all the three routes of CPEC will conNect kashgar to rawalpindi through only one single road (KKH) that too just two lane road. how is that road going to handle all that traffic esp considering the fact that khujeraav pass rises to an altute of 16ooo ft in hunza Gojal area of Gilgit-Baltistan. If they can construct three highways in pakistan cant they construct atlest two roads linking Pakistna to china

    • Masood pervaiz

      They will manufacture most of the products in pakistan then transport through gawadar. Most important is the fact is that yuan will go down to 1:1 ratio against dollar. Pak rupee is much devaluated. So chinese exports now from pakistan will be cheaper.
      I was wandering who designed CPEC. Can’t believe it but a good source told me it was zardari’s brain. Still cant believe it.

  • Rehana Rafiq

    Hard work can be easily seen.keep it up

  • faisal soofi

    leave coal intact , go solar Pakistan !



  • Asad jamali

    Let us hope for a better Pakistan.

  • Kamran Hanan

    its really Happening i have spent some time in Gwader doing survey on real estate market and i felt its really happening i found the safest place of pakistan people are very cooperative helpfull even the gov employees are very cooperative the development in gwader city is very fast all roads network is almost completed and u actually feel and see alot of investment in gwader itself good luck and lets stand up for the future of our country every comment counts as i did we all can

  • imran

    Who made these maps?
    Clearly some maps show Northern Pakistan, part of India???

    • Wali Zahid

      Each map is from an international source, and the source is mentioned. Pakistani maps counter this and present our stance.

  • Ahmed sethar

    We are all pakistani,s thankfull to who funded $46B for Pak China coredor .
    I advise u plz link the roads from Gawadar to to Ratodero via N-55 Shikarpur, kashmore include @ motorway at kashmore or muridki because very huge traffic is going on through indus highway N-55 from shikarpur to kashmore via DG KHAN. So kindly dont ignore this side thoudands of vehicls are travelling througout the country on daily basis.

  • madiha zain

    Dear sir
    Your maps show unbalanced distribution of the energy power infrastructure…esstren route is overburdened with various power projects and eastren belt is left empty.Don’t you feel its going to benefits one side of Pakistan and the other side will be thrown to stone age till 2030.pashtun belt is totally negated

    • zubair

      i think all the future develpments are proportioned according to the population living in concerning area, so similarly the need of development near eastern rouet is more.i think it is balanced development mapping.

  • Waqar

    Salute to Mr. Nawaz sharif

  • muhammad Kamran

    Good efforts.
    Long live China Pakistan friendship.
    Every Pakistani need to visit this for calarifications.

  • Naghman Mahmood

    This is the Sucess story of the year 2016 Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approves D.I. Khan Motorway project, with acquisition of 7,496 acres of land for construction of 285km 4-lane expressway as part of the western route of CPEC. The project will cost Rs 11.973 billion without foreign exchange component.

    The Special Committee of Senate on CPEC in its third interim report has raised concern over inadequate width of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) to cater to future traffic volume to be generated by the CPEC. It suggested immediate steps to widen the KKH. It proposed additional alternative route for the CPEC by connecting Gahkuch to Shandur and to Chitral via Shandur Pass.

  • Ahmed

    واہ سر کمال کر دیا آپ نے ایک بار پھر،،،impressive work,,,,ماشاءاللہ

  • Sami

    Sir G thnks for sharing great informations…. At least you have provided us alot for competative Exam and interviews……

  • Zhan Liang

    Impressive work about CPEC

  • Zhan Liang

    Dear,Mr.Wali,Thanks for a very comprehensive & yet concise write-up on CPEC,great work! I come from Xinjiang province of China, my name is zhan liang(dr.) .CPEC is the most important project to both of our country .CPEC is a flagship projec for the Belt and Road Initiative, which is being comprehensively promoted and implemented with the joint effort of the both goverment. Its succsess need every in both country to contribut to. After read your blog , i have hightly interest in that pic “The projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and three routes explained”. If you are so kind ,please tell me the resouce of this map , i need higher quality one , i cann’t see the word very clearly. and i also need more specific information about CPEC’s project which also in that picture, thanks a lot. please , do not hesitate contact to me . my email address is “”.

    • Wali Zahid

      Dear Zhan: Many thanks; You can run a Google image search for high-res image of the map as well as the source.

      Good luck with your work.

  • Rashakai Economic Zone


  • Meilia

    Dear Wali,
    I need some information on the 4th JCC which was held in Beijing in March 2015. Would you like to help?

  • Rashakai

    Good Efforts.

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