SEZs Are Catalyst For Pakistan’s Industrialization

The construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and special economic zones is a catalyst for Pakistan’s industrialization, which is promoting the transfer of China’s manufacturing industry to Pakistan and pushing Pakistan’s development onto a fast track, Cheng Xizhong, Special Commentator of China Economic Net and Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law said on Monday.

So far, remarkable success has been achieved in the CPEC development. It is mainly manifested in three aspects: First, the governments and enterprises of China and Pakistan are very satisfied with the progress, which shows that the cooperation between both sides is close and the corridor construction is progressing well.

Second, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said recently that the corridor is a declaration of friendship between China and Pakistan and an excellent project for Pakistan’s economic and social development. He also said that Pakistan should complete the corridor construction at all costs. In the past, there were different voices in Pakistan on the construction of the corridor. Now, from the federal government to the local governments, from political parties to the public, they are on the same page. They highly appreciate the great achievements of the corridor construction.

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Third, the construction of corridor projects is progressing well. In the first phase, 90% of the 22 major projects have been completed and put into operation, and the rest will be completed within a few months, he said in his article published by China Economic Net (CEN) here.

The second phase of construction has already started. The construction of CPEC and special economic zones is a catalyst for Pakistan’s industrialization, which is promoting the transfer of China’s manufacturing industry to Pakistan and pushing Pakistan’s development onto a fast track.

He said, recently, Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman of CPEC Authority said that the construction of CPEC is being accelerated, and the second phase of the construction has started substantially.

The Pakistani government has recently approved the upgrading and reconstruction of the 1726 km long ML-1 trunk railway under the CPEC framework. The development of the ï¼”7.2 billion project is of great strategic significance to Pakistan’s national transportation and economic development.

After this project is completed, the new railway system will play an important role in the transportation of goods and passengers. Highway transportation is not only high cost but also time-consuming, but railway will promote social and economic development with more cost-effective and efficient transportation mode, and drive economic activities, especially agricultural economic development in remote areas.

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At present, the channels for agricultural products to enter big cities are limited and reasonable prices cannot be obtained. With the upgrading of the railway system, farmers will get better economic benefits from agricultural products.

New progress has been made in the construction of Gwadar Port. Recently, a ship carrying 16,400 tons fertilizer arrived at Gwadar Port. The fertilizer was purchased by Afghanistan from Australia and unloaded at Gwadar Port and transported by road to Afghanistan according to the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.

This is the first time that the Afghan government has used Gwadar Port to import important materials.After the completion of construction, Gwadar Port will not only promote the economic development of Balochistan Province and even the whole country of Pakistan, but also become the nearest sea port for Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian land-locked countries, which will connect these countries with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, UAE, Iran and Iraq, and even with China’s Xinjiang and other western provinces. It will become a transit port for regional transshipment, storage and transportation.

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On June 5, the signing ceremony of the tripartite agreement for Kohala hydropower project was held at Pakistani PM’s office. Imran Khan, leader of Azad Kashmir and Chairman of CPEC Authority attended the ceremony. Kohala hydropower project, with an investment of ï¼”2.5 billion, will be the largest independent power generation project in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that attracting foreign investment and developing hydropower projects is of great importance to Pakistan’s economic development, and construction of Kohala hydropower project is an important progress of the CPEC cooperation between China and Pakistan, which will provide cheap power and create employment opportunities for Pakistan.

Kohala hydropower project will be invested and constructed by China Three Gorges Group. In view of the power shortage in Pakistan, Kohala hydropower station will become a local livelihood project with great benefits due to its lower unit price than thermal power projects and less impact on the environment.

Experts predict that after the completion of its construction, CPEC will contribute 21% to Pakistan’s GDP growth, promote the industrial growth of Pakistan by 58%, and its tax contribution to Pakistan will be hundreds of billions of US dollars.

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