BEIJING (APP): As 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a report titled Perceptions on CPEC in Pakistan was revealed at the 8th CPEC Media Forum, hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and organized by China Economic Net and Pakistan-China Institute.
Data from the report indicate that there is widespread agreement among Pakistanis that CPEC will help revive economic activity in Pakistan.
The report draws its insight from 350 individuals, encompassing key stakeholders including 62 government employees, 22 parliamentarians, civil sector representatives, private sector professionals, journalists, members of academia, and students from Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Paktunkhwa, Kashmir, and Gilgit.
Based on the report, 65% of the respondents view Chinese professionals as friends of Pakistan who will help revive the country’s economy and socio-economic well-being.
This means a majority of Pakistani people strongly believe that CPEC will prove to be beneficial for the country and its people. Regarding how CPEC will help Pakistan, 93.5% of the respondents view CPEC as a project that will significantly help Pakistan through investment in various sectors while also opening avenues for businessmen.
And, 75.1% of the respondents agree that through CPEC, local businessmen will get access to international markets. Moreover, 61.1% of the respondents believe that CPEC will help economically vulnerable groups such as women, which signals positive segments among the Pakistanis concerning how CPEC is slowly revolutionizing the economy by improving the socio-economic well-being of the people.
Additionally, 66.9% of the respondents think that investment under CPEC can significantly improve the agricultural industry of Pakistan, and 72.7% of the respondents believe that CPEC has helped develop state-of-the-art infrastructure in the country.
Looking into the future, 54.2% of the respondents think CPEC should focus on business opportunities more, followed by education (13%), health (5.9%), IT (2.3%), etc. Overall, the majority of the respondents perceive CPEC positively as a game-changer for Pakistan’s economy.
Furthermore, the second highest responses for the questions were ˜neutral which stems from the idea that while CPEC is fast progressing and its fruit is visible some people lack a good understanding of this corridor and its influence regarding different development phases.
Statistics from the Embassy of China in Pakistan exhibit that by the end of 2022, CPEC had brought direct investment of $25.4 billion to Pakistan, creating 2,36,000 jobs, building 510 kilometers of expressways and 886 kilometers of national grid, and adding 8,000 MW of electricity.