Pakistan has great geopolitical importance in the region. The most vociferous depiction of this reality came in shape of China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The corridor is a $46 billion project which will provide the shortest trade routes for the Chinese goods to the markets of Gulf and African regions via Gwadar port of Pakistan. The project is being seen as game changer of the region amid the challenges faced by it.
Prospects of CPEC
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a scheme of great potential not only for China and Pakistan but also for the region. The prospects of this mega project can be studied in following points;
- CPEC brings immense economic opportunities for Pakistan. The country has for long faced economic crisis. In the wake of this project Pakistan will seek revenue from port rents, trade tariffs and chance to establish its own trade links with the Gulf States.
- CPEC will bring fortune to the people of the regions who will host its trade routes. This will also lead to establishment of industry thus creating more jobs.
- An important prospect of CPEC is seen in the power-projects it is bringing for Pakistan. Under the deal signed, China will install over 15 power plants in Pakistan. They will double the energy production by 2020 which is going to end the energy crisis in country.
- CPEC brings the prospect of uniting the region economically. China can lead an economic bloc of Asia. Iran will also find this project favorable once this project gets completion.
Challenges to Construction of CPEC
The challenges it faces are enumerated following;
- Militancy in Baluchistan – the province with destination of CPEC route.
- Indian Interference – India interferes in the construction and development of project by raising concerns on the passing of routes via Gilgit Baltistan – an unsettled territory linked to Kashmir.
- Militancy in Xinjiang region of China is itself threat to the construction of Chinese part of the project in its Western part of the country.
- The global strategic competition between US and China can prove to be another challenge as stopping this project will be in benefit of US to check Chinese access to the Middle Eastern and African Markets.
CPEC – A Game Changer
CPEC is seen a Game Changer in the region in following ways;
- It will bring economic unity in Asia particularly among the countries of South Asia, Middle East and adjacent states of Africa.
- It can bring stability in the region if countries are positively engaged in trade.
- CPEC can turn Gwadar port into an international trading point bringing fortune to Pakistan.
- China will seek control on the markets of region expanding its ‘One Road, One Belt’ initiative.
- Regional balance, which for long has been US-dominated, will gradually begin to show a shift in alliances.
Dealing with the challenged ahead, CPEC can be constructed to exploit the maximum of potential it carries. CPEC is a Game Changer economically as well as strategically.