With its eye on Pakistani markets, China has planned to pump a staggering $57 billion into the development of the new trade route connecting the two countries. This route was used by traders several centuries ago and was popularly known as the silk route. The new route being developed by China will connect China’s Western region with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar through a network of rail, road and pipeline projects.
China is aggressively seeking profitable business opportunities abroad at a time when growth back home has slowed down. Chinese firms have deep pockets and they are on the lookout for big investments in Pakistan. China would be looking to buy stake in prime industries in Pakistan such as cement, steel, energy, and textile.
Most Pakistanis are in favor of such investments, as they hope that it will usher in economic development of the country. The various Chinese investments planned under the strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will provide a massive boost to road, rail and energy infrastructure.
The improving ties between China and Pakistan are also because funding from Western investors has reduced significantly in recent times. China would also be targeting the Middle Eastern and European markets through the CPEC. The scale of Chinese investments can easily be seen in Karachi, where sharply-dressed Chinese far outnumber Westerners in the city’s hotels, restaurants and airport.