President Alvi says 90 CPEC projects completed, 41 in the pipeline

In this photograph taken on Nov. 13, 2016, Pakistani Naval personnel stand guard near a ship carrying containers at the Gwadar port, some 700 kms west of Karachi, during the opening ceremony of a pilot trade program between Pakistan and China. (AFP/File)
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Updated 24 July 2020

President Alvi says 90 CPEC projects completed, 41 in the pipeline

  • Says nine CPEC energy projects operational with 5,320 MW capacity, three under construction
  • CPEC does not “overburden” Pakistani economy but "improves our financial system,” president tells webinar

ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi said on Thursday about 90 projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) umbrella had so far been completed, 28 were in the ‘implementation phase’ and 41 in the pipeline, Pakistani media reported. 
The president was addressing a webinar on 'CPEC and its impact on the region,' organized by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relation. 
Beijing has pledged over $60 billion for infrastructure in Pakistan under CPEC, central to China’s wider Belt and Road initiative to develop land and sea trade routes in Asia and beyond. 
“Friendship between China and Pakistan is deeper than the ocean and higher than the skies,” Alvi said, adding that the Pakistan government expected Chinese’s investment and cooperation in every sector of its economy.




A Pakistani military personnel walks past Chinese trucks carrying goods during the opening of a trade project in Gwadar port, some 700 kms west of Karachi on Nov. 13, 2016. ( AFP/File)

Chinese investment did not “overburden” the Pakistani economy, the president added, but “it improves our financial system.”
Speaking about projects under CPEC, the president said the Multan-Sukkur Motorway of 392km had been completed, KKH Hawelian-Thakot expressway was completed in March this year, the ML-1 rail link project between Karachi and Peshawar would be inaugurated soon, an optic cable from Kunjerab to Islamabad had been laid, and another from Islamabad to Karachi and Islamabad to Gwadar was being built. A 300MW coal-fired plant and a desalination plant with a capacity of 1.3 million gallons per day (MGD) was also being processed.
The president said in the initial phase of CPEC, Pakistan had focused on energy production and so far nine projects had become operational with a 5,320 MW capacity, and three were under construction. 
“We are currently preparing work on the phase-II of CPEC, which is also an expansion of phase-1 and there are four areas which are being focused,” said CPEC Authority Chairman Lt General Asim Saleem Bajwa (Retd), namely industrialization, agriculture, tourism and ports.


Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

Updated 18 September 2020

Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

  • Under the plan, the government will set up 12 markets along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier
  • Prime minister approves setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by February next year

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has decided to set up markets along its borders with neighboring Afghanistan and Iran to boost trade opportunities, foster peace and check smuggling, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
Main crossing point into Pakistan for both goods and people from Iran and Afghan also serve as major smuggling routes.
“The border markets will help create job opportunities and establish a peaceful relationship with the neighboring countries,” Aisha Humera Moriani, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce, told Arab News.
Under the plan, the government is establishing 18 markets: 12 along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier.
In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan approved setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as a pilot project, to be functional by February next year.
Moriani said the markets would contribute to local development and help the government address “smuggling and boost legal trade across the border.”
Pakistan is fencing its borders with Afghanistan and Iran to check cross-border militancy, illegal movement of people and smuggling, which is a major source of income for people living along border towns and villages.
Sardar Shoukat Popalzai, President Balochistan Economic Forum, said the government should have built “common markets” along the Afghanistan and Iran borders with the mutual consent of the neighboring governments to maximize benefits for people on both sides of the borders.
“The government has not released a feasibility report, if there is any, of these markets as to how are they going to help the local population,” he told Arab News.
Popalzai said Balochistan border areas were sparsely populated and establishment of a few shopping terminals would “hardly make any difference in the lives of the people.”
He said cross-border smuggling was a major source of income for people living in the frontier areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, so “this requires a lot more effort than mere setting up of markets to check this undocumented economy.”
Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government should establish cold storages and warehouses in the border markets to boost the export of perishable and other items to the neighboring countries.
“The taxation system on the exports and imports of different items through the land routes should be well defined to encourage businessmen and locals to boost the legal trade with Afghanistan and Iran,” he said.