China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not a name of single project. It is a macro project with multiple proposed projects, which includes building infrastructure, transportation network, overcome energy shortfall, plan for the development of Gwadar sea=port and a vision to jump start industrial growth in Pakistan. Behind this project China is showing its interest in establishment of its industries in Pakistan which could be beneficial for Pakistan in many ways, therefore Pakistan should provide necessary utilities to make free zone economically workable.
Now the question is what is actually CPEC? A road? A pipeline? Energy sector, building infrastructure? A way to boost industrial and agricultural development? So, the answer to these question is already mentioned above that it is a huge a project with multiple objectives regarding industries development, infrastructure building, transportation network etc.
All above mentioned components are the basic objective of CPEC but energy sector is the most important component of CPEC. As Pakistan is, since many years suffering through energy crises so CPEC is like a new hope in improvement of energy sector, because energy sector is the most important factor of any state. State cannot continue it’s functions with energy shortage, then transport network is another important component for both china and Pakistan. For china it will connect western route of linking Gwadar to western route of landlocked region of Xinxiang, and for Pakistan it would result as integrated transport system.
It is a prediction regarding CPEC, that when the pipeline once build it will provide great benefit to china on getting shorter transport route to get oil almost 6, 000 miles shorter. It will play a significant role in Belt and Road initiative by increasing connectivity with other countries. It will also allow china to export its owned products without any fear of rivalry states.
CPEC will also help Pakistan in many ways. Agriculture and textile industries are the main factors of Pakistan economy, unfortunately shortage of energy resources left adverse impacts on these two sectors. Improvement in energy sectors would increase manufacturing goods and will improve industrial performance in this way, it will result in economical development of the state. Two Chinese companies have made investments in Masood Textiles Mill in Faisalabad in 2015, which showed two different states working together for the production of more and more textile production, same assumption is expected from CPEC.
As there are many benefits for both china and Pakistan regarding CPEC, which would open doors for many state investments , promote interaction among regions and develop state connectivity, but there are also some political and economic barriers which would affect the progress of CPEC development, which includes disunity among provinces of Pakistan on the basis of resource distribution, According to area Punjab plays dominant role over other provinces is the main issue of conflict, Somehow this is true because Baluchistan faces deprivation in many factors like there is no proper infrastructure, not enough schools, very few hospitals and only one university, Therefore Baloch nationalist supporting the investment CPEC will bring , which could provide Baluchistan better infrastructure and basics of life but there are some insurgents who opposed development of CPEC. Another major challenge towards CPEC is the hostile relations among Pakistan and India which always creates dreadful and disturbing situation in the region. Though there are challenges regarding CPEC, but it is a good initiative not only for Pakistan and china but for all those states which become part of this project in future and with the passage of time things will get settled down.