A Brief Overview of CPEC : China Pakistan Economic Corridor

A brief overview of CPEC

CPEC Introduction    

China Pakistan economic corridor is a framework of regional connectivity which will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have a positive impact on their neighboring countries like Iran, Afghanistan, India, and the central Asian republic as well. CPEC is the journey towards economic regionalization in the global world.

CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013. CPAC  is a massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and to further integrate the countries of the region.

This project was launched during the visit of Chinese leader XI Jinping to Pakistan in April 2015, meet with prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he wrote in an open editorial stating. “this will be my first trip to Pakistan, but I feel as if I am going to visit the home of my own brother”. On 20 April 2015, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to commence work on the $46 billion which is roughly 20% of Pakistan annual GDP 

with approximately $28 billion of fast-tracked early harvest project to be developed by the end of 2018.

The goal of CPEC:

The goal of CPEC is both to transform Pakistan’s economy by modernizing its road, air, and energy transportation systems and to connect the deep sea Pakistan ports to Gwadar and Karachi to china Xining province and beyond by overland routes. CPEC will reduce the time and cost of transporting goods and energy such as natural gas, petrol, export, and import, etc, from 12000km to 2500km, through possible ways of CPEC.

Transportation networks:

On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa, West Asia while some major projects were commissioned by late 2017.

A  vast network of highways and railways are to be built under the ages of CPEC that will span the length and breadth of Pakistan. Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia. 

An 1100km motorway will be built between Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC while the highways of Karakorum from Hassan Abdel to the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed.

Lahore metro train promises to connect the vast city of Lahore from one end of the city to the other, which will be completed in a matter of months

Energy/power  projects:

Over $33 billion worth of energy infrastructure is to be constructed by private constrain to help alleviate Pakistan’s chronic energy shortages. Over 10,400 MW of energy generating capacity is to be brought online by the end of 2018.

Electricity from these projects will primarily be generated from fuel, through hydroelectric and wind projects are also included. The project contributing to 60,000 jobs for local Pakistanis and 90,000 jobs for Chinese. 

Projects of development:

Following are some names of projects included in CPEC.

  • Surab-Hoshab (N-85) 449km, cost RS 17.99 billion which is completed.
  • Gwadar port, phase 1 complete while phase 2 is under construction.
  • Dawood wind power project  (50MW), cost $112.70 billion, fully completed in 2018.
  • Reconstruction of Karakorum highways cost the US $1,315 million, project is completed in march 2020.
  • Abdul Hakeem Lahore motorway(M-3) 230km, project has been completed on 1 June 2019.
  • Karot hydropower project (720MW), cost the US $ 1,698 million, the project will be completed in February 2022.
  • Quaid-e-Azam solar park (1000MW), cost the US $1,305 million, under construction.
  • Pakistan port Qasim power project (1320MW), cost US $1670 million, completed on 27 May 2018.
  • Expansion and reconstruction of the existing Karachi-Peshawar line ML-1 ( 1880KM), cost $6,900 million.
  • Pakistan china fiber optic project cost US $38 million, completed on 17 July 2018.

Note: Besides the above-mentioned projects some projects are also canceled due to some technical issues.

  •  Rahimyar khan coal power project, Punjab.
  • Matari to Faisalabad transmission line, Sindh and Punjab.
  • Gadani  power project, Baluchistan.
  • Muzaffargarh coal power project, Punjab.


The location of CPEC has been divide into three corridors for cargo transport which is as follows.

  • The eastern alignment through the heavily populated province of Sindh and Punjab where most industries are located.
  • The western alignment through the less developed and more populated provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan.
  • The future central alignment will pass through KP, Punjab, and Baluchistan.

The cities of Pakistan included in CPEC are KP, Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, Azad Kashmir, chiles, Taxila, Nowshera, Attock, Burhan, DI khan, etc.

In 2013 Pakistan officially handed over its coastal deepwater port of Gwadar to China. Oil and gas pipelines coming from Gwadar not only provide a lot of energy to Pakistan but also to China. After the completion of the project, the imports and exports resources of china will be no longer bypass the Malacca strait, through which the transportation distance will be shortened from 16000km to 2500km.


It is true that CPEC has its importance for Pakistan and China. For Pakistan, this corridor is viewed as a symbol of the indomitable relationship it shares with China. The bilateral relationship between both states is characterized by a high degree of mutual cooperation and convergence of strategic interests.

It is because of CPEC that we will be able to improve our energy supply, textiles and manufacture which lead to increase exports to our country, through this project there will be at least 70,00 job opportunities.

This CPEC is a blessing for us because it can well catalyze the performance of Pakistan. It can transform our country from an agrarian economy to a massive logistics hub.