CPEC timely completion beneficial for Pakistan’s economy

The government has provided a helpful update on work done on the CPEC project so far; this was much needed. Information on the CPEC projects has been hard to access at times, which is why this element of transparency will help in allowing for greater public understanding on where we stand.

19 projects have so far been completed, which is an important achievement. Each complete link of the chain can help bring benefits of the area around specific projects and to the overall economic situation. The fact that we have managed to continue work on these large projects even with the pandemic raging is quite the accomplishment.

But resting on our laurels is not acceptable when only 22 percent of the work is completed. With 28 projects partially completed and 41 still in the pipeline, there is still quite a distance to cover before CPEC can be declared complete.

It is important to remember the significance of this initiative; our tilt towards geo-economics and transitioning to a new structure of exploiting a trade route to its maximum can only be possible once CPEC is at the very least; mostly complete. Given that we have spent more than five years on this plan, more should be done.

Moving forward, it is important to pick up the pace. Prioritising on projects that can immediately lead to benefits upon completion—such as new road and rail routes—is quite naturally what is needed. But beyond that, any quick wins that the government can secure on smaller projects should also be looked at.

There must also be a clearer timeframe on when various spheres are completed; but more than that, a clearer deadline for CPEC itself must be outlined. All of this must be done for our own sakes, because CPEC is only as good as the sum of its parts, and there are a lot of components that must be in place to make sure the route is the financial windfall we have been expecting.