Academic journal article Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies

SWOT Analysis of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) 1

Academic journal article Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies

SWOT Analysis of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) 1

Article excerpt


The focus on economic corridors (ECs) has become a development strategy in various parts of the world. It is argued that an economic corridor consists of an economic development mission with increase of economic growth over a specific area and certain period of time (Wingert, 2000). Conceptually, economic corridors connect economic agents along with defined geographical entities and build connections among economic nodes and hubs in urban and rural entities (Brunner, 2013). More specifically, an economic corridor concept covers a connection of production, trade and infrastructure within a specific geographical framework which extend benefits to rural areas through much sophisticated growth of transport and extension of production activities (Isono, 2012). Besides, a corridor is designed to create domestic, regional, and global value chains to connect economic hubs and zones. ECs also have positive multi- sectoral spillover effects. In order to achieve such competitive goals, a corridor is not just a passage for transit of goods, services and peoples, but also functions as a hub for export oriented and high tech industries (Investor, 2015).

The China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was introduced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in May 2013 during his visit to Pakistan, and in the same year a formal MoU was signed in Beijing in presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Additional developmentsemerged on the multi - billion project during President Xi Jinping ' s trip to Pakistan in April 2015(Bhattacharjee, 2015)with the conclusion of 51 MoUs and agreements wortharound $ 46 billion, but total investment reaching $ 62 billion(Siddiqui, 2017).

After the conclusion of agreements CPEC took form and paved the way for construction of various projects. It has the capability to connect the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. (Lei, 2015). The Prime Minister Sharif referredto CPEC as a game changer project for Pakistan and the region as a whole, whereas,Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi described it as the " flagship project " of the OBORinitiative (Esteban, 2016).

The proposed economic corridor will connect Gwadar port of Pakistan to China ' s city of Kashgar with approximately 3,000 kilometers network of roads, railways, and oil and gas pipelines ( Talwar, 2015 ). Apart from roads and railways, special economic zones and industrial parks will be built along the project belt. The project would deliver much needed and sophisticated logistics infrastructure to Pakistan andwill add roughly 17,000 MW of electricity to the national grid, whichwould end Pakistan ' s rampant energy shortfalls (Bhattacharjee, 2015).Similarly,CPECwill provide the shortest and safest access to China in the Indian Ocean, and open up a new energy corridorin the Middle East and beyond(Sareen, 2016). It has also been argued that Gwadar port will enable the PLA Navy to monitor U.S. and Indian naval activities in the Asia- Pacific through a listening post in Gwadar,and will divert Chinese crude oil supplies from the U.S. controlled Malacca strait to an overland route through Gwadar.

This study employed SWOT analysis to examine internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats to CPEC.SWOT analysis is broadly used in economics and management sciences for evaluation of giant organizations and companies. It has two main components:the internal factors, strengths and weaknesses;andexternal factors, opportunities and threats. However,takinga territorial state as an institution, this strategic method can be used in political science and international relations.2 Though CPEC is a comprehensive economic and development project, it has many internal weaknesses and external challenges.

SWOT Analysis of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)


Geo-Strategic Significance

Pakistan is located at the juncture of West and Central Asia, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, and thus has a strategic significance for regional connectivity, and CPEC will further augment that position. …

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