All About The Latest Updates On CPEC & Economy

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The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and was signed as a bilateral socio-economic uplift agreement between Pakistan and China in 2015. Since then, Pakistan has seen an almost unprecedented level of development which has come in various sectors starting from energy and infrastructure, and moving towards agriculture, textiles, tourism, science and technology, education, communications, etc. It comes as no surprise then that these developments have had a positive impact on Pakistan’s economy as well. In this blog we will cover the latest CPEC updates in various sectors, and analyze these in terms of impact on real estate and economy.

Updates On CPEC

As of May 2021, the CPEC has entered its second phase which is aimed at the socio-economic uplift of the country. In this phase, all those sectors will be engaged with that will create employment opportunities, enhance business connectivity among both countries and ensure people-to-people connectivity. This is in addition to the development undertaken during Phase I which dealt with developing the energy sector and also the rapid construction of infrastructure in the country. 

Let’s explore all that’s happening under CPEC and what to expect next.

Transportation

OLMT is set to be launched in March 2020
Orange Line Metro Train is set for an official launch Credit: Website/CPEC

According to CPEC latest news and updates, most of the development work has already started and is now nearing completion. The stalled project Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore was also recently launched under the umbrella of CPEC. Moreover, work on Karachi Circular Railway, ML-I is also fast reaching completion.

Other projects in the pipeline include: 

  • Peshawar-Karachi Motorway (Multan-Sukkur Section)
  • KKH Phase II (Thakot -Havelian Section)
  • Khuzdar-Basima Road N-30 (110 km)
  • Upgradation of D.I.Khan (Yarik) – Zhob, N-50 Phase-I (210 km)
  • KKH Thakot-Raikot N35 remaining portion (136 Km)
  • Havelian Dry port (450 M. Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units)

The routes which these transportation projects follow, will greatly contribute towards the local economic development. This is because transportation routes mean greater connectivity, greater access to other regions, and helps industries such as agriculture, and especially real estate to expand. As can be seen in most real estate developments across the country, as soon as a main road develops, the property prices of that region significantly go up. 

In all of the aforementioned projects, the upgradation of D.I. Khan-Zhob Motorway which is part of the CPEC Western Route is a notable development. As Chairman CPEC Authority, Asim Bajwa highlighted it, this route will bring socio-economic prosperity to the neglected areas of the country. This is a long route, but special importance is being given to D.I Khan-Zhob Motorway as most of the work on this has already been done. 

Predicting these significant developments to come in swiftly, the JK&S Developers have introduced D.I. Khan New City which is the first-ever planned residential development in Dera Ismail Khan. This project is located right on the CPEC Western Route and highlights that more such real estate developments will be launched soon. 

In Old Lahore, the OLMT cuts right through the congested buildings and is providing the easiest form of transportation in one of the busiest neighbourhoods of Lahore. 

ML-I on the other hand is a much larger railway project which will cover the region from Karachi to Peshawar, covering a distance of 1,872 kilometres, and apart from doubling the train track will also rehabilitate and reconstruct old bridges. 

Moreover, the Gwadar Port, and the Eastbay Expressway, linking Gwadar to Makran Coastal Highway have been completed and are operational. For the longest time, people have wondered about Gwadar and how that will improve the country’s economy. These developments are significant, especially for real estate developers who, taking advantage of this development will now initiate rapid work on their projects. If you are looking for the safest avenue to park your money in Gwadar, keep an eye out for Canadian City Gwadar

Overall, some 1,100 kilometer roads had been completed while 850 kilometres were under construction.

Energy Sector

Major energy projects are underway as a part of cpec developments
CPEC’s major developments to harness clean energy in Pakistan

Additionally, nine out of 22 energy projects had been completed, while five mega electricity projects in Thar, Kohala, Azad Pattan and others were in the pipeline. After all of these projects are completed, Pakistan will be able to add 17,000 MW electricity to its national grid, which means it will be producing surplus energy that it can easily export as well. 

While these projects were primarily under Phase I of CPEC, they have employed a large number of people, which means that these projects are already helping to improve livelihoods and uplift people’s lifestyles. Of these, hiring of female drivers and miners for the Thar Coal-Fired Power Project is a significant move as it is not only enabling women to earn a better living for themselves, but is also empowering them by lifting their socio-economic status.

Of the 22 energy projects, there are coal-fired power plants, hydropower, and wind-power projects, which will harness the full potential of Pakistan’s renewable energy resources. Moreover, CPEC has the biggest share of the BRI’s total renewable energy budget.

Apart from infrastructure and energy sectors, the CPEC latest news for 2021 centers around the colonization and development of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). 

CPEC Latest News & Updates: SEZs

CPEC Authority is set up by the govt
The CPEC Authority will ensure timely completion of projects

The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are an essential component of any country that wants to expand its economic base. These are designated areas in a country that are subject to different economic regulations than other regions, primarily to facilitate and attract foreign direct investment (FDI). 

Currently, there are three major SEZs in Pakistan; Rashakai SEZ, Dhabeji SEZ, and Allama Iqbal SEZ. The Rashakai SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Nowshera city spreads over 1,000 acres of land and has attracted about 20 major investors, local and Chinese investors. Under the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBG), the land in this SEZ has been plotted which means any individual can buy any amount of land, signalling real estate transactions. Moreover, there is no set legislation prohibiting the use of this land. As development work is carried out in this area, the land around the SEZ is bound to present one of the highest rates of return on investment because of connectivity, rapid development, and nearby job opportunities.

On the other hand, Allama Iqbal SEZ is already being constructed in Faisalabad, a city known for its textile mills and large businesses. With an SEZ, this city will offer even more employment opportunities to the people, and there will be an influx of people towards the city, meaning an increased demand for housing. Newly-introduced projects like Dawood Heights and Lyallpur Commercial Market have already tantalized the investors with their wide variety of properties on offer. With work underway in Allama Iqbal SEZ, it’s only a matter of time that the real estate industry here will get a boost and with increased demand of housing, witness the popping up off newer projects.

The Government of Sindh has allocated 1530 acres of land to establish Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) in Thatta. This SEZ will be where the new Pakistan Steel Mills be established in close cooperation with China. Construction work is in its early stages and primarily focuses on the construction of steel foundries.  

Progress Updates On CPEC

Chinese investment to revitalize Pakistan's economy
Pakistan to benefit from Chinese cooperation in various sectors of economy

The government is now arranging B2B conventions and exhibitions to attract Chinese investment in the country, primarily in these SEZs. The regions earmarked for these industrial zones have already-established clusters of industries, specific to the region, and the government now has to harness the full potential of these. These three SEZs along with Bostan SEZ in Balochistan are expected to create 1.47 million jobs which means an end to chronic unemployment and revitalization of the local economy.

Under CPEC, China has agreed to work with Pakistan for the establishment of Health Silk Road to expand the latter’s health base. Cooperation in other sectors includes agriculture, meat and dairy industries, textiles etc. All of these sectors will be expanded primarily to satiate Chinese customers’ demand. This is a golden opportunity for Pakistan to expand into a new market where the demand for its products is high.

This year is crucial for Pakistan’s development under CPEC and the next fiscal year will give a clearer picture of Pakistan’s economic development. Write to us for any queries regarding CPEC at blog@zameen.com. Also, keep checking Pakistan’s largest property blog, for the latest news on Pakistan’s economy.



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