The recent years have observed that port cities are growing than the inland towns in the country. This has ultimately led countries to focus more on developing its port cities for trade. Spanning by more than 1000 km of land near the sea, Pakistan, holds an essential position in South Asia, strategically and economically.
Frequently mentioned, the port of Gwadar has finally been in the news again for the inauguration of various development projects. All these projects are aimed at developing Pakistan as a whole and strengthening the ties between China and Pakistan. The Gwadar is being seen as a major commercial hub, and a major key player in the region by experts all around the world.
Let’s now have a thorough look at the significance that the region holds for all the parties involved.
From Pakistan’s point of view, the port is being recognised as the key to address all their existing economic growth issues and take them towards sustainable growth.
Ports are prioritised atop the list which help in a country’s development.
The new Pakistani government has recognised the key role that seaports play in the economies of developing nations. The other two most significant ports in the area, namely, the Karachi Port and Port Qasim are currently responsible for carrying most of the trade in Pakistan. The availability of a third port in an area that is used by its neighbours for most of their trade will give Pakistan more exposure to maritime trade. The Gwadar port alone is benefiting from $62bn worth of investments in infrastructure projects across Pakistan.
The Gwadar Free Zone can bring in substantial investment opportunities.
The new tax exemptions that the Pakistani government has rolled out in subsequent meetings have made the motives clear. Some of these exemptions have been made in the span of 23 years, providing investors the chance to cover their expenses and profit innumerably. The past seven years have seen various ups and downs in the issue involving tax exemptions. The present government took a significant stride by approving most of the exemptions.
The increased employment opportunities that the Gwadar port.
All the tax exemptions that are being rolled out are aimed at welcoming the Chinese manufacturing industry to the Pakistani mainland. While various manufacturing units have been already set up and operating, the big players are yet to arrive. Employment for the locals has seen a growth in finding job opportunities for the locals in and around Gwadar Port Authority Commercial Complex. The locals from Baluchistan as well as the officials like the Chief Minister holds the development in high regards due to this reason.
The Chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Company Gwadar (COPHC) Zhang Baozhong in an interview stated,” Once the zone is fully developed in seven years, 47,000 jobs will be created for the locals, and its annual sales will be USD 1 billion.”
The Gwadar port is considered to be the nearest to other Chinese ports.
Pakistan’s economy relies heavily on imports from the Chinese. The Gwadar port will serve as the closest port through which the Chinese imports can enter Pakistan mainland. This will provide a much-needed boost to the Pakistani economy. The governments in Pakistan can work to make the port a crucial international navigation canal. The proximity to the Chinese water lands will also help Pakistan maintain its strategic relationships in the sea. The area also holds a significant place strategically to Pakistan’s other neighbours.
Project developments in the Gwadar Free Zone will benefit the whole area.
The long due development processes in the Gwadar Free Zone and the Balochistan state will get a boost due to the various development projects in the area. The 300 MW coal-based power plant project is one among the many CPEC projects that is helping locals in their daily lives. One of the other many projects is aimed at processing 500,000 gallons of usable water daily from the hard water at the port. The peace-loving and bright citizens of the region are looking forward to other significant projects in and around Gwadar.
Apart from this, the area is also seeing the development of a Pak-China Friendship Hospital at the cost of $100 million. The hospital will serve people from all over Pakistan on an area equal to 68 acres of land. The locals are overwhelmed on the fast work that the area is undergoing under best contractors from the country.
The Gwadar region is also undergoing work on an international airport which establish one more Pakistani international airport with world-class facilities and additional cargo handling capability. With construction already well underway, the Gwadar New International Airport Project (GNIAP), covers 43 acres with runways capable of flying large jet passenger planes potentially carrying millions of travellers a year.
The construction of the Gwadar port will give more power to the Pak-China relations.
The port brings hope for the Pak-China friendship to make new historic ties.
In a recent interview, the Chinese President was seen quoting, “No matter how the international and regional situation changes, the friendship between China and Pakistan has always been unbreakable and rock-solid, and China-Pakistan cooperation has always maintained strong vitality.”
The Gwadar will help China establish trade routes over the seashore that other Arab countries share. The Chinese government has also declared every possible assistance to turn Pakistan’s economy upside down by investing millions of dollars. The port will also improve the maritime relations and connectivity between the two countries for aiding each other in military operations. Experts from all over the world have seen the port as the most significant Chinese investment in cash-strapped Pakistan.
Good relations with the other Islamic countries in the world will help both the Chinese and the Pakistani fronts to develop mutual and healthy relationships in the area. All these are ultimately aimed to bring peace and prosperity in the region.