WATCH: Pakistan becomes an ally of Russia
Pakistan has become one of the countries to reap the fruits of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which seeks to develop infrastructure and facilitate transportation. The Chinese’s flagship initiative seeks to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through improving regional integration, increased trade and to stimulate economic growth. More than 152 countries are expected to benefit from the BRI, while more are expected to join the progressive initiative. The BRI aims to ensure building infrastructure, increasing cultural exchanges, and broadening trade. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan's infrastructure has not developed as the economic upswing did not progressively occur. The imperfect infrastructure condition of Pakistan has severe consequences on the lives of people.
As of January 2019, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), worth US $19 billion once complete, include 9 current completed projects, with 13 more projects still under construction. Through China’s BRI, Pakistan's economy has grown to 70,000 jobs. By 2030, an increase of job opportunities are expected to increase by 700,000. China and Pakistan lauded their ongoing multibillion-dollar infrastructure development programs under Beijing’s BRI.
The initiative has entered the next phase after attaining initial targets, dismissing reports that the project increased Islamabad’s debt, rather than increasing economic growth. The China-Pakistan economic corridor has built new roads, power stations and operationalised the Arabian sea. BRI aims to further encourage economic success of countries along the Belt and Road and regional profitable cooperation and to nourish exchanges. The Chinese government has recently guaranteed an additional grant of $1 billion for education, health, vocational training, drinking water and poverty alleviation projects in Pakistan. While Beijing and Islamabad have established and maintained defence ties, both countries believe that their economic cooperation in recent years has connected the comprehensive relationship.