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Gwadar: Economic prosperity of Pakistan

Imtiaz Rafi Butt

July 06, 2019

Gwadar. a deep sea port city, located at South-western Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan, has opened up its arms, asking the world to come and invest.

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The charm of this city is gradually gaining momentum. Gwadar to Pakistanis is a game changer, with its strategic location, it is destined as the economic hub that will not just cater the locals but will also come off as a key factor for the economic prosperity of Pakistan.

Gwadar, being an ideal site of future raised its bar as China, our friendly neighbouring country positioned itself under their flagship mega infrastructural initiative, “China Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC).

CPEC is a paramount enterprise of China, under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), commonly known as One Belt One Road, which covers around 65 countries, 4.4 billion people and 40% of the global Gross Domestic Product. China has designed BRI in a manner that addresses the cultural sensitivities, economic needs and security concerns of participant states; moreover, it includes additional aspects like production, trade, transportation costs, exchange of knowledge, innovation and technological growth etc.

BRI initiative is gaining global recognition and legitimacy. The United Nation’s Social and Economic Council held a workshop in April 2017 to explore how this initiative intersects with the UN 2030 agenda and their Sustainable Development Goals. The Chinese and UN experts came to a conclusion that the initiative was in line with 17 SDG’s and 169 targets, as it focuses on five categories of SDG’s namely people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

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CPEC is declared as the pivotal component of BRI, facilitating connectivity through BRI in general and CPEC in particular. China promotes a vision where a state of mutual benefit can be achieved. Invoking a 2000 years old history that China shares with Central Asia, Eurasia and other parts of the world, president Xi Jinping has been persistent in conveying that the BRI, including the CPEC, aims to revive regional connectivity through infrastructural development, trade and investment in industry from which development dividends can be shared across the world.

CPEC offers Pakistan an opportunity for both economic and human development initiatives. Projects in CPEC are estimated in-between $46 billion to $62 billion, around 17% of the country’s total GDP. Through CPEC. a network of road and communication infrastructures will be developed, spanning over 3000 km from the city of Kashgar in China to Pakistan’s south-west most tip, Gwadar.

It will augment the geo-strategic location of Pakistan in the Persian Gulf and also in the Arabian Sea, connecting and providing China an access to the rest of South Asia, Middle East and Africa.

In addition to infrastructural development, three other key elements of CPEC consist of development of Gwadar port, investment inenergy sector and creation of industrial zones.

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Over 60 projects are identified under CPEC, among which 12 are road and rail projects, 21 relate to energy, 12 projects are exclusively meant for Gwadar, and 3 include cross border optical fibre, digital terrestrial multimedia broadcast and early warning system projects.

Furthermore, many other projects have also been classified as ‘New Provincial Projects’, ‘Proposed Special Economic Zones’ and ‘Social Sector Development Projects’.

The scope and opportunities of Gwadar can be clearly depicted, keeping in mind the fact that this city will be the gateway of trade between China, its neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. The ideally located deep seaport is the biggest charm of Gwadar and one of the major sea routes to trade under CPEC. A huge infrastructural development is currently underway and its scope will grow exponentially, once proper trading activities will began.

The construction of new international airport has already been initiated in Gwadar. Other mega projects includes construction of an estimated 19 km East-Bay Expressway, which will connect with over 650km Makran Costat highway, infrastructural development of Free Zone and Export Processing Zones, Bao Steel park, petrochemicals, stainless steel and other industries, a university, hospital, fresh water treatment and supply, upgradation and development of fishing, boat making, maintenance services and Gwadar smart port city.

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This entire scenario portrays a prosperous future for the city of Gwadar. Communities who want to take future benefits from this initiative have already visited the city and planned their investments, primarily in shape of commercial or residential properties.

In the coming time, real estate will be a dominant industry in Gwadar. The importance of the city will elevate as international investors, trading and multinational companies will land their feet in Gwadar; marking the fate of this sector with unprecedented success.

Many Pakistanis have already secured their investment in different commercial or residential real estate projects at minimal prices. A large number of expatriates have placed their investments in Gwadar’s realty sector too. The investments made, either in the previous decade or in recent years, will give maximum returns in near future. Gwadar will be established as per international standards, hence, it will be the best to invest in the projects whose developers are in this business since decades and enjoy a good reputation.

The second phase of CPEC is about to start and within this phase; Gwadar will emerge on the global landscape with its true potential. This is one of the areas; where our politicians, security agencies and China are all on one page.

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So make a smart move; invest in Gwadar. A fact that Pakistanis know well is encapsulated in the saying of American Financer Russell Sage, “Everyone wants a piece of land. It’s the only sure investment; it can never depreciate like a car or a washing machine”. Take this chance and anticipate the rewards that will come out of your investment decision.


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