Pakistan has launched an ambitious international trade and transport corridor which China has built to have an easier access to the Persian Gulf as well as other regions of the Middle East.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which hinges on a deep-water port in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Gwadar was inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sharif accordingly saw off the first Chinese mega pilot cargo that arrived in Gwadar from China on Saturday.
The port is now officially operational for trade activities through CPEC’s western route. “CPEC is not for a single province but for the entire country and a foe of CPEC is an enemy of Pakistan,” he said in an address at the inauguration ceremony.
Starting its journey from Kashghar, the Chinese trade convoy comprised of 50 trucks reached Gwadar on Saturday from Gilgit-Baltistan after travelling throughout the country. Contingents of Special Security Division of Pakistan Army provided security to the trade convoy.
China is building a network of roads and power plants under the CPEC development project which is expected to absorb $46 billion in Chinese investment in the coming decades.
Gwadar port is located on the Arabian Sea and it occupies a strategic location between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.
The port is also located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Straits of Hormuz.
This trade cargo shipment from Gwadar to the international market is a sign of a changed Pakistan, wrote Pakistan’s The Daily Times. Every part of Pakistan is going to benefit from the CPEC, which is a broad project of peace and economic progress, it added. Not just Pakistan and China but, Iran, Afghanistan and a lot of Central Asian states would benefit of the project.