CPEC Will Not Be Stopped Due to COVID-19

FM Qureshi: Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two countries are committed to the scheduled construction plan.

Recently, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will continue on. This announcement came during his and President Alvi’s visit to China this week, where both countries showed solidarity for one another. The FM also said:

“I don’t think it’ll have an impact on the CPEC in the long run. But in the short run, yes, there could be a slight slowdown. As soon as we are over the hump of dealing with the coronavirus, I think we’ll be back on track.”

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FM Qureshi

Ever since the launch of the CPEC, there have been many speculations about its feasibility, and are further fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Qureshi reassured the public, stating that all projects were being carried out in phases, and will not be too negatively impacted by COVID-19.

He also told the media that there was cooperation in other fields in the agenda, as they are “setting up a working group on agriculture to see how China can help Pakistan improve its agricultural productivity, and working together in the fields of science and technology.”

What is CPEC?

CPEC is a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative undertaken by China; it is a phased mega-project that includes many projects across different fields, including energy and transportation.

In the first phase, projects are related to industrialization preparation work, for example developing infrastructure to meet energy requirements in Pakistan. Many projects under the second phase have already started – these mainly focus on industrialization, aimed at enhancing industrial production capacity, create jobs, stabilize the economy and address poverty alleviation in Pakistan.

The total value of all CPEC projects is around $62 billion with future projects expected to raise its valuation considerably. CPEC intends to greatly enhance the Pakistani economy by improving the country’s infrastructure including modern transportation networks, energy projects, and special economic zones.


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