First convoy arrives in Gwadar down China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Pakistani’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weeding  joined other senior officials from both countries this week at the Arabian Sea  port of Gwadar to watch as the first containers full of Chinese goods arrived for loading onto  two  ships  – also Chinese – for export by way of the nascent China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The trade convoy had just travelled 3,000km along the Karakoram Highway through western Pakistan over the  Khunjerab Pass, the world’s highest paved border crossing.
The exercise was a largely symbolic statement of the  corridor’s potential,  as Beijing’s $46bn initiative to give its industrial heartlands access to international markets by way of the Arabian Sea and  China is still very much a work in progress; expected to take up to 15 years to build,  the CPEC will also give China an overland transportation route for oil from the Gulf and  will entail the  construction of road, rail  and communication networks and power projects between Gwadar and China’s western Xinjiang region.
Gwadar  sits at the convergence of  the oil-rich Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. It also lies at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.
The CPEC was a “major and pilot project of the Belt and Road” initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weeding said at the ceremonial. “It proves the connectivity of the local roads and realization of the concept of one corridor with multiple passages….This trade convoy is the best reflection of the spirits of mutual consultation, joint construction, mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. I believe these spirits will serve as the solid basis for the future construction of CPEC,” he added.
Pakistani officials predict that the project will create more than 700,000 direct jobs between now and 2030, and add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country’s annual economic growth. If all the planned projects actually come to fruition, their value would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970, and would be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan’s 2015 gross domestic product.
Infrastructure projects under the aegis of CPEC are worth approximately $11bn, and will be financed by heavily-subsidized concessionary loans that will be dispersed to the Government of Pakistan by the Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. As part of the broad package of infrastructure projects under CPEC, a 1,100 kilometre long motorway will be constructed between the cities of Karachi and Lahore,while the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled. The Karachi–Peshawar main railway line will also be upgraded to allow for train travel at up to 160 kilometres per hour by December 2019.
A network of pipelines to transport liquefied natural gas and oil will also be laid as part of the project, including a $2.5bn pipeline between Gwadar and Nawabshah to eventually transport gas from Iran.

Source: voanews