The second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is much broader in scope and focused on multiple areas that include relocation of industries, modernization of agriculture sector, enhanced cooperation in science and technology, and employment generation, said Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Moinul Haque.
In an interview with a Chinese publication, the envoy said that both sides have made rapid progress on the development of Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Trade Zone, which would promote regional connectivity.
Haque expressed satisfaction over the fact that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work on CPEC projects continued without any delays. He added that the recently held 10th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee reviewed wide-ranging cooperation under the CPEC framework and identified more areas of cooperation.
The envoy said that CPEC had marked a new milestone in relations between the two countries by placing economic cooperation and connectivity at the center of the bilateral agenda.
Haque said that the first phase of CPEC helped Pakistan develop major infrastructure projects and address its energy needs. The 1,320MW coal-fired power plants in Sahiwal, Port Qasim, Karachi, and Hub, 660MW Engro Thar coal power project, and 1,000MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur (400MW project has been completed) are among the energy-related projects that have achieved completion. In addition, a number of smaller capacity wind and solar energy projects have also started operations.
The 878km-long Matiari-Lahore 660kV HVDC transmission line has also been completed under CPEC, which has the capacity to transmit 4,000MW of electricity, the envoy said.
Haque further pointed that Pakistan’s highway network has also been improved under CPEC to provide reliable connectivity between Pakistan and China.