Pakistan and China are working towards early finalization of Long Term Plan (LTP) for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The LTP could be finalized during the Belt and Road summit due to be held in China on 14th and 15th May. The Long Term Plan for CPEC (now valued at $62 billion) covers the projects to be undertaken till year 2030. At the moment, both countries are looking to complete short-to-medium term projects that cover energy, infrastructure and connectivity primarily. Jian Han, Political and Press Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy, was speaking at a roundtable conference on ‘OBOR and CPEC from the Prism of China-Pakistan Bilateral Relations organized by Strategic Vision Institute. He said,
[the Long Term Plan] would set the focus for CPEC construction in future.
Mr. Han said that CPEC had entered the stage of fast-track implementation and year 2017 and 2018 would be the year of comprehensive implementation with Early Harvest Projects reaching fruition. CPEC project director Hassan Daud Butt on the occasion said that Pakistan already shared the draft for the ‘Long Term Plan’ with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for approval and consideration. Mr. Daud further hinted that progress will be made towards signing agreements regarding the Gwadar Airport and East-Bay Expressway linking Gwadar Port with the national highway network,
We are expecting good news from the Summit with regards to Gwadar Airport and East-Bay Expressway.
The CPEC director at the seminar said that the project was about to enter the industrialization phase,
We are expecting that by 2018 about 7,000 MW of energy would be added to the national grid and linkages of Eastern and Western routes would be completed.. The western route would be completed by July 2018, whereas eastern route would be ready by December 2018.
The President of the Strategic Vision Institute Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, once operative, could,
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lead to the development of a new international economic order something analogous but better than the Western international politico-economic order based upon the Breton wood finance insitutions.