CPEC: Prospects for Pak-Iran economic relations

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is rapidly becoming a source of national integration, economic prosperity and regional stability. The corridor is poised to play a vital role in the development of least developed areas in Pakistan and in promoting regional connectivity.

The benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor therefore extends beyond the two countries’ interests. It will benefit the whole region, especially Pakistan, and particularly, Iran, as regional expansion of the CPEC can help Pakistan to strengthen its economic ties with Iran. The relations between Pakistan and Iran have remained very cordial.  Both have very close affiliations, but at this time the volume of trade between two is extremely low. In 2014, the volume of bilateral trade decreased to US$ 229 million. At this stage, CPEC is an opportunity for Pakistan and Iran to enhance their economic ties because Pakistan’s  Gawadar port and Iran’s Chabahar port both have a unique geostrategic and geopolitical importance. Both ports can be considered as sister ports. These ports provide a direct entrance into the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz. If CPEC is linked to Chabahar, it will further boost economic connectivity and cooperation between Pakistan and Iran.

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