ISLAMABAD: The coastline of Pakistan's seaside megapolis Karachi is going to be rebuilt in a $3.5 billion project under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in a development Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday welcomed as a "game changer."
The project, announced by Pakistan's maritime affairs ministry on Saturday, will be carried out on the reclaimed 640-hectare area of Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone.
"Inclusion of Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone in CPEC is game changer," Khan said in a tweet, adding that it will put Karachi "at par with developed port cities."
The maritime ministry said in a statement the project will provide residential resettlement to more than 20,000 families living in the slum areas around the reclaimed development zone.
According to the plan, it will also house a fishing port with a fisheries export processing zone and a water treatment plant at the mouth of the Lyari River.
"KCCDZ carries enormous potential for global investors as well," the ministry said, adding that that it will open Pakistan's blue economy and "significantly enhance" its development and industrial cooperation with China.
CPEC, which has seen Beijing's pledge over $60 billion for energy and infrastructure projects in the South Asian nation, is central to China’s wider Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to develop land and sea trade routes in Asia and beyond.