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CPEC Gwadar Now & Then

Gwadar

Gwadar is strategically located on the western end of Baluchistan coast on the opposite end of the Gulf of Oman which is an important route for oil tankers bound for Japan and western countries out of Gulf.

Since outflow of goods from western China and Central Asia reaching Gwadar will pass through this overland trade route, Pakistan could earn millions of dollars a year in terms of port and cargo handling charges and also as freight charges for import cargoes and export goods.

Gwadar is southwestern coast of Baluchistan, Pakistan. The city is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, approximately 700 kilometers to the west of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. Gwadar is near the border with Iran, and is located to the east of the Persian Gulf and opposite Oman.

Gwadar and its surrounding region were overseas possessions of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman from 1783 until Pakistan purchased the territory on September 8, 1958. Pakistan assumed control of the territory on December 8, 1958, and the territory was later integrated into Baluchistan province on July 1, 1970, as Gwadar District.

 . The Pakistani government integrated Gwadar into Baluchistan province on 1 July 1977 as the district headquarters of the newly formed Gwadar District. In 1993, the Government of Pakistan formally conceived the plan to develop Gwadar into a major port city with a deep-sea port and to connect it with Pakistan's highway and rail networks. On 22 March 2002, the Government of Pakistan began construction of Gwadar Port, a modern deep-sea port, Phase I of which was completed in March 2007. Gwadar Port was inaugurated on 20 March 2007. The first phase was inaugurated by General Parvez Musharraf in 2007 at a total cost of $248 million.

Gwadar underwent major development from 2002 to 2007. In 2002, Pakistan's National Highway Authority (NHA) began construction of the 653 km-long Makran Coastal Highway linking Gwadar with Karachi via Pasni and Ormara and onwards with the rest of the National Highways of Pakistan.

The contract signing ceremony was held on 18 February 2013 in Islamabad, and was attended by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Chinese Ambassador Liu Jian, as well as various federal ministers and members of parliament

In 2015, it was announced that the city and port would be further developed under CPEC at a cost of $1.62 billion,[4]with the aim of linking northern Pakistan and western China to the deep water seaport.

The port will also be the site of a floating liquefied natural gas facility that will be built as part of the larger $2.5 billion Gwadar-Nawabshah segment of the Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline project. Construction began in June 2016 on the Gwadar Special Economic Zone, which is being built on 2,292 acre site adjacent to Gwadar's port. In late 2015, the port was officially leased to China for 43 years, until 2059

Gwadar Port became formally operational on 14 November 2016, when it was inaugurated by Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif; the first convoy was seen off by Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif.

The expanded port will be located near a 2,282 acre free trade area in Gwadar which is being modelled on the lines of the Special Economic Zones of China. The special economic zone will include manufacturing zones, logistics hubs, warehouses, and display centers. The special economic zone will be completed in three phases. By 2025, it is envisaged that manufacturing and processing industries will be developed, while further expansion of the zone is intended to be complete by 2030.  40-year tax holiday will be granted for imports of equipment, materials, plants, machinery, appliances and accessories that are to be for construction of Gwadar Port and special economic zone.

China has been instrumental in design of the project. China is providing approximately 80% of the cost of the port in the shape of grants and soft loans. Over 500 Chinese workers have worked on the project on a 24-hour basis to complete the port setup. There are still a large number of Chinese workers and engineers working on the project. China is setting up a dry port at the Pakistan–China border to take advantage of shorter route to sea through Gwadar. China paid US$360 million to Pakistan for expansion and an upgrade for all weather traffic of Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan with China. The contract has been awarded to Frontier Works Organization, who has also started the project. Feasibility and engineering studies to connect China with Gwadar through a pipeline and railway track have already begun.

Pakistan is the beginning of a new journey of development. The China Economic corridor is helping in the development of Pakistan. Gwadar port, airport, and trade routes are the world-class project. These projects are in front of the world. All these plans are for the future investments through other countries on Pakistan. Through this; the infrastructure of Pakistan also increases. These projects will help to make the trends of investment in Pakistan. Gwadar port will be the key of the progress of Pakistan.

Dubai is the word often used when the people of Gwadar picture their future, believing the huge opportunities created by CPEC will transform their fishing town to a center of business, shipping and tourism.


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