Islamabad: Pakistan and China have devised short, medium and long term plans for 5, 10 and 15 years respectively under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in which the railway networks would be connected between the two countries till 2030.
Pakistan’s delegation comprising of the Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal and secretary of railways are scheduled to visit China this week to finalize the projects for connecting railways network between the two countries.
The long-term plan (LTP) for CPEC prepared by the Pakistani side which was also shared with Chinese high-ups states that the plan in CPEC from 2025-2030 would be to build CPEC into an important platform for cooperation between China and Pakistan and other neighboring countries in order to help Pakistan upgrade their economy and society and enhance exchanges with China; to help Xinjiang open wider.
Under LTP from 2025-2030, both sides will connect rail network of China and Pakistan; extending the CPEC into South and Central Asia and making use of CPEC to increase exchanges and cooperation with Iran and Afghanistan and extend CPEC to western China to lift regional impact.
The short-term plan focuses on early acquisition and projects given priority with timelines from 2015-2020. In the short-term goals is CPEC and industrial parks would be connected to promote interconnectivity among cities in order to have more cooperation and exchanges and more job opportunities for the people. The quality of life would be upgraded along the corridor. Focus will be on the Karakorum Highway (KKH), clearing up the dammed lake in Raikot, and trying to open the road to year-round traffic; building the Multan-Sukkur Highway, starting construction of Gwadar Port – neighboring Industrial Park and improving its condition and infrastructure which strengthen the capability of Pakistani railway for improved passenger and freight transportation. The construction of Islamabad Comprehensive Park would also be started and the exchanges and cooperation in culture, tourism and education.
In the medium-term plan of CPEC both countries would execute projects from 2021 to 2025 in order to ensure CPEC development, increase traffic efficiency, promote connectivity between industrial parks and CPEC and increase market and convenience of products. They would also help to increase economic and social development in the region regions and increase employment level and livelihood for the people in order to improve the economy and social environment in South Xinjiang.
Focus would be in enhancing transport links between areas of Kashgar to the CPEC like upgrading the highway between Yarkand and Taxkorgan, and increasing transport links between Atushi and Kashgar, upgrading the KKH, strengthening security and traffic capacity and improving speeds which would further strengthen the traffic capability from Karachi to Lahore or Islamabad. The construction of high-speed road, upgrading the level of Pakistan’s railway system which includes the building of railway from Gwadar to Karachi or Sukkur and the highway from Islamabad to Karachi would also be done. Focs would also be on building a complete industrial system, promoting trade flows of industrial products, upgrading the Gwadar Port-neighboring Industrial Park into the China-Pakistan Free Trade Zone and improving the policies and management system.
By 2020 the construction of the corridor will take shape and major barriers which restrict economic and social development would be removed. The corridor construction would drive regional economic growth in both China and Pakistan. In 2025 it is expected that the corridor would be established with a complete industrial and functional economic system. The living conditions of people would improve and the uneven regional economic development modified. In 2030 the corridor would be fully completed and sustainable economic growth would take place and the corridor would play a lead role in Central and South Asia and would become an international economic zone.