Gwadar port is the new political and commercial milestone for the Pak-China. The recent projects inaugurated in the area and the plans that China and Pakistan have in store for the port and the region around it is meant to take the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a step further. Numerous people have speculated in recent years about as to when the full completion of the Gwadar port project.
In a recent interview, Naseer Khan Kashani, chairman of Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) under the Ministry of Maritime Affairs made some overt disclosures on the developments being made in the Gwadar Port. Kashani stated:
“The Gwadar port, built on world-class standard operating procedures, will have to pass through phases and processes which are globally carried out in the development of any port in the world. As per the master plan, it will take 20 to 25 years to develop the port entirely.”
The ongoing expansion is delivering many hopes to the businessmen in Pakistan as well as to the investors who have invested in the various projects on the Gwadar port and the Gwadar Free Zone. The port will hugely benefit connectivity and transit in the region. The locals are incredibly hopeful after the various developments on the port have already created jobs for the local labour and skilled professional. in a recent political development, China also assured Pakistan of generating more than 47,000 jobs in the next seven years with its plan to invest billions of dollars in the port.
This came from China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) Gwadar Chairman Zhang Baozhong in October 2019 after the Pakistani government approved various tax benefits to enthusiastic investors who are keen on making a mark in the Gwadar Free Zone. The 23-years income tax holiday that the Pakistani government promised to the investors and developers across the world has lured many prominent players from all around.
“It (issuing of ordinance) is a turning point for Pakistan’s economy, and now billions of dollars will be invested in Gwadar,”
After the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs’ meeting last month, it became clear that the port is now ready to start functioning for Afghan transit trade. This brings much cheer to investors and the locals who have been toiling for the last few years to bring the project to completion. The Gwadar region is regarded as a large piece of land that’s blessed with a rich geo-strategic and geo-economic importance for the countries around it. The Afghan traders are believed to receive a boost to their trade as the Gwadar’s port provides them with a closer point to carry trans-shipment and transit across. While Afghanistan will receive an essential boost to their trade activities, Pakistan will enjoy assistance in their strategic and political relationships with the Afghanis.
The Gwadar region is also gifted with warm water around its coastline which makes it an excellent spot for tourist destinations. The sunny coasts, exotic beaches, and the mountains in the area can add to the list of tourist destinations in Pakistan.
On being asked about the opening of Gwadar port for tourism, Kashani quoted:
With the progress of the Gwadar port, all allied industries, especially real estate, will gain traction. Commercial activities will attract local and international people. This will serve as a catalyst for the hotel, recreational, and food industries. Once this momentum begins, Gwadar will be ready for tourism opportunities in a befitting manner.
The Gwadar port region has a plethora of options to attract tourists and travellers to come and stay in the beach city. The developments undertaken by the Pakistani and Chinese in amalgamation will also provide them with numerous options to dwell around the town and get an excellent play to stay in. The locals are also positive about the prospects of the city becoming a major tourist attraction, and they are hopeful about increasing their income from the tourists. Planned hotel building as well as tourist friendly areas such a promenades and retail centres are all being developed.
The Gwadar Smart City Master Plan is in its final stages now, Kashani further informed that:
New maps and guidelines for the development of the smart port city have been broken into three timelines: 2025, 2035 and 2050. The key focus of the master plan over the next five years is to make available the basic civic necessities of a modern city. It is designed to revamp the economic development triggering socio-economic activities at the district level and transform Gwadar into a prosperous town.
The project is a great initiative that’s been made possible after the massive developmental projects on the Gwadar port and the nearby regions. The inaugurations of the projects coming over the next few years and the China-Pakistan Government Primary School have alleviated the hopes and aspirations of the locals and the current residents around the area of Gwadar and Baluchistan. The city is about to become a land of opportunities for the present and the future generations of Pakistan as stated by various senior Chinese and Pakistani officials on numerous occasions.
The Gwadar port has been equipped with all the modern amenities that will make the port a better and safer sport for transit and trade compared to the other two significant ports in Pakistan, namely the Karachi Port and the Port Qassim. The port of Gwadar is also supposed to help Pakistan and China work in amalgamation and help each other develop strong diplomatic and trade relations with other nations in the region. The Gwadar is expected to be completed in the next 20-25 years and is also hoped to give Pakistan and China an upper hand in the Arab waters in terms of military and trade.