The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is absolutely beneficial to Pakistan’s socio-economic development as well as regional connectivity and beyond, Pakistani experts said.
CPEC, a flagship project of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, is taking shape amid all the challenges. The project is not only vital for Pakistan’s economic growth, but also provides connectivity to regions and civilizations, experts said at a seminar on CPEC organized by the Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution on Thursday.
“While globalization is coming under stress, we need to look at China as an example of socio-economic development … CPEC, together with China’s Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, is pivotal for Pakistan to address the sustainability issues, and the integration of security and technology,” said Hassan Daud Butt, senior advisor at the China Study Center of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank.
Touching upon the challenges faced by CPEC, Tahir Mumtaz Awan, director of the China Study Center at COMSATS University Islamabad, said that despite hurdles, the pace of work on CPEC projects is being expedited considering the huge benefits CPEC brings for Pakistan.
“There are challenges and we must deal with them … Pakistan needs to institutionalize the challenges to CPEC, and remove bottlenecks for its smooth functioning,” Awan said.
Launched in 2013, CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan’s Gwadar Port with Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation.