CPEC projects may create 1.2 million jobs, opine experts

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SOURCEBusiness Recorder
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Approximately 1.2 million jobs could be created indirectly in Pakistan because of agreed projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), experts said here on Thursday.

The CPEC has been blamed for causing a debt trap and economic distress in Pakistan, but facts have proved that the recent surge in Chinese investment is yielding employment benefits.

This is a hard-won achievement, but 1.2 million jobs aren’t enough. While the first phase of the CPEC concentrated on infrastructure projects, the second part should focus on employment creation by setting up special economic zones (SEZs) and supporting economic integration.

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According to the report, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor needs to accelerate the shift of its focus to provide more jobs for Pakistani people.

Although there has been much controversy about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over issues such as an uneven distribution of interests among Pakistani people, the project can only move forward. But it won’t be plain sailing due to challenges such as Pakistan’s foreign exchange crisis and security problems, and people should be prepared for potential setbacks. However, as long as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor creates a lot of jobs, it will win the favour of Pakistani people.

The construction of transportation infrastructure under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework has created many jobs for local people. This is obviously good news for the country’s poverty alleviation campaign. However, infrastructure work provides mainly limited-term employment.

It takes time to complete infrastructure construction, but the country will see a substantial decrease in job creation in the future if it relies heavily on infrastructure construction to generate employment. With about 200 million people, Pakistan needs long-term employment opportunities. The CPEC has its weak points, but it also offers unique advantages. The CPEC is designed to connect Gwadar Port in southwest Pakistan with China’s inland areas, offering another shipping option for Chinese importers and exporters.

(This news/article originally appeared in Business Recorder on January 11th, 2019)

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