New economic corridors to help foster sustainable development in PakistanBreaking

April 02, 2024

Ayesha Saba

The unveiling of five new economic corridors under the CPEC’s phase two represents a significant step forward in deepening bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and China and fostering sustainable development in the former. Federal Minister of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong recently announced the launch of five new economic corridors under the second phase of CPEC. These include corridors of growth, job creation, innovation, green energy and inclusive regional development, which are set to usher in a new era of economic prosperity and cooperation. Both the planning ministry and China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will draft separate concept papers outlining the roadmap for each corridor, facilitating future sectoral development.

By leveraging each other's strengths and aligning with strategic frameworks, Pakistan and China are poised to unlock new opportunities and propel mutual prosperity in the years to come. Speaking to WealthPK, Jamshed Ahmed, Investment and Industrial Specialist at the CPEC Authority, Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, highlighted the significance of these corridors in bolstering bilateral ties and advancing economic cooperation between Beijing and Islamabad. He emphasised that the formation of a dedicated working group for the new economic corridors demonstrated a commitment to enhancing coordination and efficiency in project implementation, which is essential for achieving sustainable development goals.

“In the forthcoming Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting, representatives from both China and Pakistan are poised to commit to the shared objective of expediting the progress on multi-billion-dollar flagship projects integral to CPEC,” he said. Ahmed noted that by focusing on key areas such as job creation, innovation, green energy, and comprehensive regional development, Pakistan and China were addressing critical aspects of economic transformation and inclusive growth. According to NDRC, CPEC had created 236,000 jobs, of which 155,000 went to Pakistani workers until the end of 2022. The CPEC Authority official said that the innovation corridor would drive economic transformation by leveraging technological advancements and fostering innovation-led growth. He pointed out that China's experience in infrastructure development and technology transfer could complement Pakistan's efforts to modernise its economy and improve connectivity both domestically and regionally.

He said that in the second phase of CPEC, there was a pronounced emphasis on industrialisation, notably through the development of special economic zones (SEZs). He said each province had one SEZ. “Effective implementation and strategic alignment with Pakistan's development priorities are key to unlocking the full potential of SEZs,” he said.

Credit: INP-WealthPk