If CPEC is properly managed, it will be a game changer for Pakistan. It is a largest ever foreign direct investment in Pakistan. During President Xi’s visit to Pakistan, both the countries signed agreements of 46 billion dollars. It will provide boost to Pakistan’s ailing economy. Pakistan is under heavy debt. According to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, “current debt is 73 billion dollars.” Each year, a huge chunk of budget goes to debt servicing. In fiscal year 2016-17, debt servicing was around 25% of the budget. Therefore, CPEC will help Pakistan to become economically self-sufficient. According to rough estimates, CPEC will create 700, 000 direct jobs. Besides that, millions of people will be benefiting from it.
It includes a range of development projects. Out of 46 billion dollars, around 35 billion dollars are for the energy projects. The government is hopeful through that investment, they will be able to add the required electricity to the national grid which will end the shortfall. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a public address assured, “by the end of 2018, not only the load shedding will be ended but also surplus will be available.” Furthermore, CPEC includes restructuring of decades old railways network keeping in view the modern standards. It also includes motorways, highways, industrial zones, economic zones, airports, etc. throughout the country.
CPEC provides a shortest route to china. The distance from the traditional Chinese route which passes through Indian Ocean, Strait of Malacca and South China Sea is around 13,000 Kms. On the other side, distance between Gwadar to Kashgar, Xinjiang province is around 3,000 kms. Therefore, CPEC provides easy access to China. It cuts down the travelling time from 45 days to 10 days. Freight charges would also be less than the traditional route.