There is a known saying that “There is no way to prosperity, prosperity is the way”. CPEC: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is most important and shared development venture of Pakistan and China. CPEC is part of China’s vision to write the rules of the next era of globalization and help its export and investment engines run for years to come. It is becoming more and more obvious now that paradigm of power is shifting from west to east and CPEC is a door opener for that.

Specifically, CPEC is the express link between Western China, the Middle East, and Africa. CPEC is an important part of China's future vision and this is its southern corridor of Silk Road project. Similarly, it matches the ambitions of Pakistan’s vision 2025 and it has placed country on the journey to prosperity.

The route that is being developed by the Chinese in Pakistan is expected to make huge amount of economic gains for both countries. When China decided to develop the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2015, the idea was to deepen economic ties with Pakistan and ensure security for China’s larger ‘One belt, one road’ project.

Involving an investment of $46 billion which is now extending to $54 billion, the project is the means by which China can ensure the quickest availability of energy resources from the Middle East by avoiding the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea. Chinese signed and committed to the largest investment only after receiving the guarantees of deliverables from Pakistan Army and yet they were nervous. However, after the deployment of thousands of army troops, air protection by Pakistan Air Force, maritime security by Pakistan Navy, satellite monitoring on the way, civil and military alignment for the CPEC projects, transparent development methods, work speed and overwhelming welcome gesture by Pakistani nation encouraged Chinese government to enhance the project with further investment injections.

Many other countries in the region and in reach are realising that this is no longer a wishful thinking as most were calling it in the early days of the project they are positioning themselves in lines now to be the beneficiary of this mega project.

The commitment from both sides makes the project success imminent. I can say this because I have heard the words of most senior Chinese officials during the private conversations and I remember the particular statement of Chinese senior diplomat stating that “Mr.Rafiq - the investment of 46 billion USD is just a tip of an ice berg – and once the first development phase is successfully completed, other 100 Billion USD will be ready to be invested”. The etiquettes of the particular meeting didn’t allow me to ask further questions but my questions were answered during my last visit to China when our associate Chinese partner showed me a letter issued by the Government of China offering their company a bank guarantee if they like to expand their manufacturing facilities to Pakistan – within port city of Gwadar or within the reach of corridor areas. People who understand the banking system know well that state guarantee means that the company can go to any financial institution and acquire funding for their new facilities. This letter has been sent to hundreds of companies in China and one can imagine if and when these companies started to accept this offer, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created within Pakistan and the Pakistani economy will get massive benefit out of this. It makes perfect sense for large size Chinese manufacturers to bring their manufacturing with government backed financing to tax free and extraordinary facilitated industrial zones with three hundred percent lower labour cost. The sharpest Chinese businessmen will never let this opportunity go away and in my point of view $100 billion numbers will become low as well. Similarly, the Chinese manufacturer who doesn’t want to expand or relocate their manufacturing facility and wants to just use the corridor for easy access to the massive world population waiting for their products to import from nearest port at lower cost than Dubai, Doha, Hong Kong and mainland China will also create massive opportunities for international investors to build massive storage systems, warehouses, labour camps, housing, offices, hotels and much more.

Travel time for their products to reach at accessible port will be 500 percent less, company registration cost in Gwadar will be 600 percent less, necessary warehousing cost will be 400 percent less, local labour costs will be 300 percent less and local transport cost will be 300 percent less than current regional costs. All above will have direct reflections on Chinese products costs and these positive consequences will bring the prices down. Imagine if same product including shipping cost is costing importer 30 percent less in Gwadar while compared to direct import from mainland China and from nearest free zone ports such as Dubai and Doha, then where that importer would go to purchase?

The businessmen from Africa, Asia, Middle East, Russian States and even neighbours of Europe will not have choice but to come to Gwadar, Pakistan for their competitive purchasing. These are the facts which are leaving the enemies of Pakistan sleepless and exposing them one by one. The enemies are not only across the borders, near the borders or far across the oceans but also lie within the country. Some have been exposed and some will be exposed soon. The common disease is bringing all evils together and they are compiling their evil forces to place obstacles but they don’t know the hidden strengths of the Pakistani nation. Pakistanis know how to protect and react.

For Pakistan CPEC is not just a simple trade route, this is a “Game Changer” not only for Pakistan but for the entire region. The corridor going through Pakistan is opening the doors for the reshaping of new world alliances and economic blocks. Pakistan has paved the way of prosperity with peace and left the choice to the world – either trade for prosperity or trade for hostility. Email: