The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (Chinese: 中国-巴基斯坦经济走廊; Urdu: پاكستان-چین اقتصادی راہداری), often referred to by the acronym CPEC, is a collection of projects currently under construction at a cost of $51 billion, intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure as well as deepen and broaden economic links between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China. The corridor is considered to be an extension of China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative, and the importance of CPEC to China is reflected by its inclusion as part of China's 13th five-year development plan.
Pakistani officials predict that the project will result in the creation of upwards of 700,000 direct jobs between 2015–2030, and add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country's annual economic growth. Were all the planned projects to be implemented, the value of those projects would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970, and would be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan's 2015 gross domestic product.
Infrastructure projects under the aegis of CPEC will span the length and breadth of Pakistan, and will eventually link the city ofGwadar in southwestern Pakistan to China's northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways. Proposed infrastructure projects are worth approximately $11 billion, and will be financed by heavily-subsidizedconcessionary loans that will be dispersed to the Government of Pakistan by the Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
As part of the broad package of infrastructure projects under CPEC, a 1,100 kilometre long motorway will be constructed between the cities of Karachi and Lahore, while theKarakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled. The Karachi–Peshawar main railway line will also be upgraded to allow for train travel at up to 160 kilometres per hour by December 2019. Pakistan's railway network will also be extended to eventually connect to China'sSouthern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar. A network of pipelines to transport liquefied natural gas and oil will also be laid as part of the project, including a $2.5 billion pipeline between Gwadar and Nawabshah to eventually transport gas from Iran.
Over $33 billion worth of energy infrastructure are to be constructed by private consortia to help alleviate Pakistan's chronic energy shortages, which regularly amount to over 4,500MW, and have shed an estimated 2-2.5% off Pakistan's annual gross domestic product. Over 10,400MW of energy generating capacity is to be developed between 2018 and 2020 as part of the corridor's fast-tracked "Early Harvest" projects in conjunction with four projects under construction prior to the announcement of CPEC. Electricity from these projects will primarily be generated by coal, though wind projects are included under CPEC, as is the construction of one of the world's largest solar energy plants.