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Pakistan and China forge strong ties in infrastructure development through CPEC collaboration

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : Pakistan’s collaboration with Chinese construction companies presents a unique opportunity to accelerate infrastructure and real estate development by leveraging Chinese expertise. Dr. Liaqat Ali Shah, Head of Policy CPEC, highlighted that Chinese investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) focuses on crucial areas like power generation, railways, and highways, particularly in underdeveloped regions. Chinese construction firms, having gained expertise from rapid urbanization, bring efficient techniques to enhance construction quality. This collaboration aligns with global sustainable development goals, emphasizing eco-friendly practices and green materials. Joint initiatives and knowledge-sharing contribute to climate action objectives. Dr. Shah stressed the importance of training programs for a skilled construction workforce in Pakistan. Despite challenges noted in the SBP Annual Report 2023, the collaboration has involved over 5,000 Chinese and 2,000 Pakistani engineers and workers in various CPEC projects.

Pakistan’s collaboration with Chinese construction companies offers a unique opportunity to leverage their vast expertise to expedite its infrastructure and real estate development and adopt efficient construction techniques while ensuring high-quality standards and promoting sustainable practices.

Dr. Liaqat Ali Shah, Head of Policy CPEC in the Centre of Excellence for CPEC, said this while talking to WealthPK.

“The Chinese investment under the CPEC is mainly focused on infrastructure. The largest part went into setting up power generation plants, railway tracks, and building highway infrastructure. The CPEC’s western alignment was also the focus of new infrastructure projects, which connected Pakistan’s most underdeveloped regions with Gwadar and major urban centres.”

“Owing to China’s rapid urbanization in the last two decades, Chinese construction companies have had a lot of exposure to efficient construction techniques, which has given them a lot of expertise in these fields,” he said.

“Collaborating with Chinese construction firms allows Pakistan to benefit from these high-quality standards, contributing to the construction of a durable and resilient infrastructure. This is particularly crucial in regions prone to natural disasters, as the expertise garnered from the Chinese practices can help in designing and constructing buildings that can withstand various environmental challenges,” he opined.

“As the world collectively embraces the imperative of sustainable development, the Pak-China partnership aligns seamlessly with these global goals. Both nations recognize the importance of environment-friendly construction practices and adoption of green building materials.”

“Through joint research initiatives and knowledge-sharing, the collaboration will be instrumental in achieving the targets related to climate action and responsible consumption and production.”

“Implementing focused training programs and knowledge-sharing initiatives is crucial for cultivating a skilled and competitive construction workforce in Pakistan,” he suggested.

He further informed WealthPK that more than 5,000 trained and experienced Chinese engineers and workers and more than 2,000 Pakistani engineers and workers were involved in different projects under the CPEC.

According to the SBP Annual Report 2023, the construction industry recorded a contraction of 5.5 percent in FY23, after registering a moderate growth in the previous two years. Increase in input prices and wages, higher borrowing costs, and slower growth in development spending are the main factors which constrained the construction activity during FY23.