As the port city of Gwadar grows and attracts more Chinese and Pakistani professionals, the demand for good restaurants and quality ingredients will increase. Fortunately, the investment brought into Gwadar via the China Pakistan Corridor will increase the choice for locals and expats alike.
Pakistani cuisine is rich in tradition and the blend of Indian, Far-Eastern and Middle-Eastern cooking techniques creates a distinctive mix of complex flavours. Dishes such as slow-cooked lamb and lentil stew, or goat biryani with layered saffron rice accompanied by spiced flatbread are sure to tantalise the taste buds.
At the moment, dining out is available at the local hotels. For ingredients, five supermarkets are to be built in locations in or near Gwadar City. Fish is plentiful at the thriving fish market on the jetty, well-stocked by the fishermen of Gwadar. The fish market enables them to sell to both the locals and to brokers who sell the fish abroad. Gwadar also has a traditional open-air market, Jannat Bazaar, a busy bustling colourful location with stalls where locally-grown fruit and vegetables are sold.
The province of Balochistan produces wheat, rice, maize and barley. Crop productivity has increased during the last couple of decades in response to technological developments such as the use of better quality seed, fertilisers and irrigation, together with soil conservation measures. The Long-Term Plan (LTP) for CPEC outlines a plan for the optimisation of the agricultural supply chain from beginning to end. The plan identifies opportunities for the Chinese to optimise Pakistan’s agricultural sector and reduce the amount of produce that rots during harvesting and transportation due to the lack of logistical and processing facilities.
Thousands of acres of agricultural land are to be leased to Chinese enterprises to set up ‘demonstration projects’ for products including seed varieties, fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation technology. The Chinese will also develop processing facilities for fruit, vegetables and grain. Logistical companies will be brought in to manage storage and transportation systems for agricultural produce. Companies entering the sector will be offered free capital and loans from the Chinese government and the China Development Bank. The plan proposes to bring mechanisation and the latest scientific techniques to livestock breeding, the development of hybrid varieties and precision irrigation to Pakistan.
Starting this year, warehouses to store fruit, vegetables and grain will be built in Gwadar, along with a vegetable processing plant with an annual output of 20,000 tons, a fruit juice and jam plant of 10,000 tons and grain processing of 1 million tons.
Gwadar is in the process of being transformed into a modern efficient economy due to the huge amounts of investment being injected into the area by the Chinese, and the city presents investors with an unparalleled choice of lucrative projects.