A developing country with agriculture as its pillar industry, Pakistan is also bestowed with a variety of natural minerals, including copper, gold, iron, coal and etc., with reserves of copper and gold ranking world top 10. Coal reserves are even huge enough to meet the demand of total traditional energy of this country for the next two centuries.
Though it has mineral reserves in abundance, Pakistan hasn’t fully exploited the mining industry. This is partly due to the fact that mines are mostly located in remote regions like Balochistan, FATA, Gilgit Baltistan, where infrastructure have difficulties accessing. The government now is paying more attention to this industry and would take measures to further its development. As China’s all-weather friend, Pakistan encourages Chinese companies to invest in its mining sector, especially under the drive by the The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a 3,000-kilometer network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from southern Pakistan’s Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, working as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route.
The project is proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to the country in May 2013, the second year of his first term. It is also a flagship project of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks at the inauguration of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar, Pakistan November 13, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
Through the CPEC, infrastructure has seen gradual upgrading and quality of roads and railways along the route are also being lifted. Better infrastructure and transportation will alleviate inaccessibility of these areas and facilitate mining exploitation.
It is widely known that China has much experience in developing mining sector. By making use of China’s rich experience and modern technology, Pakistan can boost its mining sector at a faster pace.
Mining industry can play a significant part in a nation’s social and economic development and is also a job creator. In Thar, development of this industry has created an employment market for local inhabitants, and improved their economic condition. What’s worth mentioning is that, women who are traditionally confined to family life and have no financial independence now grasp opportunities to earn their own money by doing, like driving dump trucks, the more meaningful part of this lies in that improved economic condition can raise women’s awareness of individual right.
Chinese companies are encouraged and do intend to integrate into Pakistani mining sector, and at a higher level of national economic development in a collaborative way. Parties involved are said to be working on schemes for profit sharing in cooperation. After all, win-win results are all the two sides are striving for.