Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday that CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ) will generate new business opportunities for enterprises in many economic sectors.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan the CPEC was at the core of the agreements signed in April. Apart from energy, the CPEC includes wide cooperation in areas including agriculture, finance and industrial parks, said Sun Weidong, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan.
“The corridor should prioritize infrastructure including highways, railways, tunnels and optical cables,” said She Ruiyuan, head of the Development and Reform Commission of Kashgar in Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan to the west.
The primary aim of the CPEC is to design a 3,000-km economic corridor from the port of Gwadar in Pakistan to Xinjiang in northwest China. The Construction of roads, railroads and pipelines across Pakistan is expected to be executed in approximately 15 years.
At present there is only one highway linked between Kashgar and Islamabad. The highway exists since 1966 and has been clobbered by bad weather ever since.
“China-Pakistan trade remains small, strangled by poor roads,” said Pan Zhiping, professor at Xinjiang University.
In 2014, trade between Pakistan and Xinjiang was 147 million U.S. dollars, far less than Xinjiang s 12.2-billion U.S. dollars with another neighbor, Kazakhstan, according to He Yiming, director of Xinjiang commerce department.
“We should prepare to build a railway between China and Pakistan as soon as possible, rail is the easiest way” said He Sanqiu, head of transport in Kashgar.
According to He Sanqiu there are many opportunities to increase trade. A 100,000-kilowatt photovoltaic power station built by China in Pakistan was completed in May under the CPEC framework, exemplifying efficient cooperation, said Ambassador Sun. China and Pakistan have plans to increase trade to around 20 billion dollars within three years.
“a number of Chinese companies are investing in Pakistan and investment will increase in the future, the CPEC will open a new chapter of economic cooperation” Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.