CPEC moves successfully as year 2019 ends

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By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is picking up the pace, as the year 2019 comes to an end. The CPEC projects will move on with success and flourish without any odds. Both, Pakistan and China worked hard with joint efforts to make the outgoing year of economic cooperation and bring maximum benefits to their people. The prime focuses of CPEC in 2019 were developing infrastructure sector and alleviating Pakistan’s energy shortage. Most of the CPEC’s projects of phase-I have either been completed or are near completion. For instance, the 230-kilometerlong Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway M-3 and the 392-kilometer-long Multan- Sukkur Motorway (M-5) have been completed and inaugurated. Senior officials from Pakistani and Chinese governments attended the Multan-Sukkur Motorway during 9th JCC Meeting of CPEC in November 2019. In the same month, Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the inauguration of Havelian Mansehra Section of KKH Phase II (Thakot -Havelian Section) at Havelian. In terms of energy project, the Prime Minister Imran Khan also inaugurated the 1,320 MW China Hub Power Generation Plant at Hub, Balochistan. While, Hakla D.I Khan Motorway (285 Km) has most of its work completed so far. In 2019, the New Gwadar International Airport has made important progress. There was a groundbreaking ceremony of the Airport in March, and its construction work started in October. In Gwadar, the 300 MW Coal Power plant, Faqeer Middle School Expansion Project and Gwadar Port Authority Commercial Complex Project all started construction. The successful completion of phase I of CPEC projects in 2019 had set a strong foundation for its phase II, which would focus on the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), strengthening trade and cultural ties through joint ventures and exchange of delegations. The second phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) also developed in 2019 as both the countries completed the legal procedures and formalities to implement the agreement. Under the agreement China granted duty-free access for export of 313 goods, which is expected to help increase exports by tapping Pakistan’s potential in agriculture, textile, food, minerals, engineering, and other sectors. Practices in the past five years have proved that the CPEC construction is not targeting specific regions or groups, but for the whole country of Pakistan and to benefit all the people of Pakistan. CPEC is a win-win model and past few years have proved that if something is done with sincerity and good intentions, result definitely come as desired. Hopes must be kept high that in coming year 2020 and years after, this CPEC will surely prove a fate changer to Pakistan.