Gwadar, at the southern entrance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is already experiencing rapid growth. This process will only accelerate over the next decade, turning what was former fishing village into a strategic economic powerhouse.
This transformation will bring with it many benefits. The attractions include rising land and property prices, a new industrial infrastructure with over 200,000 newly-created jobs, modern leisure facilities, a sophisticated tourism sector and, last but not least, security and stability underpinned by prosperity.
- More Jobs
Chief of the China overseas port holding company, that is now running the Gwadar Port, confirms they offered more than 2,000 jobs, including a majority of the senior positions, to local people since beginning its operation in Gwadar. “We have offered more than 2,000 jobs to the local people, and the majority of the senior positions like marketing manager, finance manager, human resource manager are taken by the local people,” Chairman and chief executive officer of the company, Zhang Bao Zhong said.
The Chairman said that a state-of-the-art school, vocational training institute, 50-bed hospital and recruitment of a considerable number of locals in ongoing development projects are among the benefits being offered to the people of Gwadar.
This is just the start, however.
Saudi Arabia is building a massive $10 billion oil refinery and petrochemical manufacturing complex just off Gwadar’s coast. When complete, Gwadar will become a major petro-chemical and industrial hub similar to Singapore and Jubail. Incentives will be offered to attract heavy industries like copper, iron and steel. The construction process followed by the operational phase will mean many skilled and semi-skilled jobs opportunities.
A new desalination plant is currently under construction and will provide 5 million gallons of drinking water daily. Work on a new hospital, expressway and airport are also underway. A new airport could replace Dubai Airport as a major hub. Vast storage areas, logistics hubs, an exhibition centre, financial services, manufacturing and assembly plants for vehicles, household and electrical appliances, textiles and garments, a fishing industry and halal food processing will all be created. All of these will require many employees.
Gwadar enjoys a hot desert climate. However, the proximity of the ocean keeps the temperatures lower in summer and warmer in winter when compared to inland regions.
The tourism trade in Gwadar and Balochistan is growing as increasing numbers of people learn of the major development there. The area is blessed with four seasons, exotic languages, stunning rivers, beautiful beaches, spectacular waterfalls, mines, minerals, sunset points, and yes, the hospitality.
Here are some of the highlights:
The Sphinx – Ever wondered how it would feel to see the wondrous sphinx of Egypt, up front and not in pictures? Gwadar has its own naturally carved sphinx, which closely resembles the more famous man-made sculpture. Its beauty and wonder have been barely known until recent times when it began to attract many visitors from all over.
Hammerhead – Resembling the shape of the hammerhead shark, this mass of rock was created by the eruption of a mud volcano. The majority of the rocks in the Gwadar district were created through these eruptions. Hammerhead provides a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea on its southern side and a breathtaking view of Gwadar City to the north.
Ormara – Located 240 km from Karachi, Ormara is at the midpoint between Karachi and Gwadar. This area is under the control of Pakistan’s navy. Visitors can gain a unique vision of naval vessels at work. Alexander the Great passed through this district, and one of his generals died here. His name was Ormuz and Ormara was named after him.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently highlighted the tourism potential for Pakistan and how a fledgling industry can help the economy. This story can be read here
- Rising Land and Property Prices
The furious pace of infrastructure development in Gwadar has amazed everyone. Even the industrial and commercial investors are showing interest in residential land and property opportunities. This frenzy of activity has led to rising land prices, due to the belief that Gwadar will become an internationally renowned highly-developed port-city, rivalling and overtaking Dubai, in the next decade.
Gwadar is expected to provide a huge profit on land and property investment over a long period, better than any other part of Pakistan. The cost of land in Gwadar right now is low, but it is rising quickly. Experts believe land prices will rocket once some of the major development projects are completed and move into the operational stage.
However, it pays to be cautious when buying land in Pakistan. Stories of investors losing their money are commonplace. According to Karachi-based newspaper, The Herald: “Sheikh Haris, a real estate agent in Karachi, knows of dozens of instances in which buyers found that ownership of the land they had paid for was never transferred to them. Or worse, that land did not even exist.” However, with London-based CPIC there are no such worries. All of our land transactions are legally guaranteed in the UK or USA and are protected by the laws of these countries. So if you’re planning to invest in Gwadar then contact us. Doing so will allow you to proceed with complete peace of mind. Please view the following pages for more information about investing with CPIC here.
There are a wide variety of leisure activities to enjoy in Gwadar and more are being added all the time. These include Water Sports, Scuba Diving with giant fish, turtles and stingrays, cruising off the coast, desert jeep safaris, fishing and swimming.
Among the major attractions are Astola Island. Also known as the “island of the seven hills”, it is located in the Pasni district of Gwadar. This relatively isolated island provides a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea. It is known to support a large variety of breeding water birds. Its natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for camping, scuba diving and fishing.
- Prosperity for all
Pakistan’s government has stated that the people of Gwadar and the surrounding region in the state of Balochistan, will be the main beneficiaries of the jobs and prosperity brought about by the CPEC. The project is a game changer for the region, creating thousands of jobs for the people of Balochistan who would get maximum benefits from the huge economic boost to the country.
Massive investment in at least nine major construction programmes will drive the new economy. These are:
- International Airport Gwadar
- Coal Power Plant
- Gwadar East-Bay Expressway
- Construction of Breakwaters
- Pak China Friendship Hospital
- Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar
- Development of Free Zone
- Oil refineries and petrol chemical complex
- An atomic powerhouse of 600MW
The impact of these will raise the standard of living for many locals, who have traditionally been among the poorest in Pakistan. However, perhaps the most significant developments will be the addition of three desalination plants off the coast. Gwadar has been experiencing water shortages in recent years due to global warming. The new plants will easily make up the shortfall.
A leading international Think Tank stated recently: “Economy and conflict are linked. Competition over access to resources is at the heart of most wars and other forms of organised violence. Sustainable peace within and between societies is only possible when people have fair opportunities for a sustainable livelihood and the accumulation of assets, combined with general wellbeing, justice and security in a context of good governance.”
The new Gwadar will cater for every need for those who already live there and will become a magnet for investors and job-seekers alike. This extraordinary level of new-found prosperity will ensure a more equitable society with locals and migrants living and benefiting together in harmony.