Large-scale CPEC projects to be completed in few months

Sukkur-Multan M-5 Motorway due to be completed by June

APP February 09, 2019
Sukkur-Multan M-5 Motorway due to be completed by June. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects were progressing satisfactorily and a number of large-scale projects would be completed over the next few months, said Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy Lijian Zhao on Friday.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Impact on Developments in South West Asia’, Lijian said that the Sukkur-Multan M-5 motorway, which was the largest project under CPEC worth $2.9 billion, was due to be completed by June, whereas Thakot-Havelian section of Karakoram Highway was likely to be ready by the end of the year.

The seminar deliberated on the rise of China as an economic power and its political, economic, societal and technological impacts on the region as well as across the world. The 1,320MW coal-fired power plant set up at Hub would also be fully functional by “the end of spring”, he added. The Chinese diplomat said that work on Karot and Suki-Kinari Power hydro-power plants and Gwadar port and Free Zone was also in progress.

CPEC size to stay at $50 billion for now

He also emphasised on strengthening people-to-people contact to complement strong bilateral political, economic and strategic ties. Lijian said that since that launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, China had invested $28.9 billion in 82 economic zones in countries that were part of the initiative with 3,995 Chinese companies setting up businesses there.

However, he maintained, Pakistan had not received investment under this head because economic zones had not started here as yet.  

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2019.

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