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Posts Tagged cpec

5 Amazing Places of Gwadar you must visit once in your lifetime

Gwadar with no doubt is a story of tranquillity, seafood and all the colors of the rainbow. The way we can enjoy the variety of taste and color of seafood from one part to another part of the world is what makes Gwadar the best place to visit. Gwadar carries enchanting flavors of nature with songs via every single wave and every whisper of the wind that comes to us when we enter the vibrant city of Gwadar. This place is gifted well by nature and is rich with natural and breathtaking beauty with friendly and amazing people everywhere. The contract of the blue sea and the White Mountains is something that can take you to the fairytale world in no time.

Although being a part of Pakistan the Gwadar was unknown for decades and all of its beauty was hidden from the world until the amazing idea of CPEC hit the world. With each passing day, the world is witnessing the amazing capacities of Gwadar is many different ways of life. And surely it is surprising the world with its amazing offers to visit it every holiday season.

Here is what you can visit and enjoy in Gwadar, have some blessed time with family or hang out with your dear friends while relaxing far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. These areas will surely give you a taste of being on a holiday in Dubai while spending merely 1/3 of the amount that you may have to lose to have a trip to a destination like that of Dubai. Also, you will surely feel different by visiting Gwadar areas:

The Gwadar Port

Gwadar Port

Surely top one on the list is the Gwadar port. Who in this date does not have the idea of the financial potential of these areas but let’s look at the other side of the picture now. Gwadar is a warm deep-water seaport located on the Arabian Sea and can be visited in the Province of Balochistan in Pakistan. The Gwadar port is located on the three connection cross-roads named as the Central Asian Countries, the Pakistan and the Oil Rich Middle East region of the world. Gwadar port is connecting Pakistan with all the major trading points giving it strategic importance as well as an undeniable attraction for the tourists from around the globe. It is surely a potential idea of business and is thus coming up with some amazing developments in the localities that are worth watching.

The Astola Island

Astola Island

Are you known to the fact that you can see an island being in Pakistan? Yes, you can do that by visiting Gwadar. Astola Island is also known as the Haft Talar in the local language.it means the seven rocks. It is a small island in the Arabian Sea that is about 40 KM far from the Pansi area. You can access the island by using motor-boats that you will need to take from the Pasni and it will take you on a ride of about 5 hours to reach the island.

The island is about 7KM long and is about 2.5 KM wide and is a popular tourist place. If you are planning to visit the place, make sure you have all the necessary things with you as you will not find any shops or restaurants on that place and you will need to camp to spend a night there.

What you can enjoy being there is the scuba-diving, fishing, and campaigns and all of these are really popular among the visitors. During your journey to the island, you can also see a lot of dolphins and green turtles and if you are lucky enough you may see the Hawksbill turtle that nests on the beaches at the bottom of the cliffs.

Unfortunately, the population of the seabirds has fallen with over the years the cats can be seen on the island. Do not get surprised these cats are brought to the island by the fishermen. But a bird lover must not get disappointed as they can see a lot of gulls, sanderlings, and plovers.

The ancient temple of the goddess “Kali Devi” is something that is of great importance when we talk about this island. For this reason, the island is very famous among the Hindus. You can also find a prayer yard built for Khwaja Khizr who is said to rule the oceans and is believed that he still visits the area occasionally and another prayer in that yard. This prayer yard is mostly used by the fishermen in the fishing season that goes from September to May each year.

The Ormara Beach

Ormara Beach

This beach is located about 240Km from Karachi and is the midpoint of Gwadar and Karachi. The area lies under the supervision of the Pakistan navy and is the place where the vessels scattered all around giving the tourist a captivating sight of the working of naval forces of Pakistan. There is a mountain named as Hammer-head that protect the Ormara region from the sea and keeps it away from the water and beaches. This place is also of importance as history claims it to be pit spot for Alexander the Great. It is also said that one of his generals died here who was called Mrmuz and with that reference, this place is named as Ormara.

The Sphinx

Sphinx

Yes, from far it does looks like the Sphinx in Egypt but surely it is not. This sphinx is a naturally carved object that lies on the top of the range that resembles the Sphinx- a man-made sculptor in Egypt. This natural formation is located in the Buzzi pass and can be found well before the Princess of Hope in Gwadar.

The Princess of Hope

Princess of Hope

Named as Ling, the Princess of Hope is the statue of a princess that was established in the Hingol National Park in the Makran coast of the Balochistan province. It is located about 190 KM away from Karachi.

The Princess of Hope is a natural rock formation that gives and glimpses of a princess gazing beyond the horizon- may be in search of hope. The Arabian Sea breeze has worked for years to craft this amazing piece of work giving a beautiful sculpture to the tourists. The princess of hope is standing high in the mountains alongside the Makran coastal highway. This area is covered with Mud Mountains and rocks. The climatic changes and the rains along with strong winds from the seas and turned the rocks into finely sculptured objects. Surely princess of hope is one of them.
Moving far from the amazing artworks of nature you can also visit other places like the desert in Gwadar, the baba chandrakup, or the Buzi pass if you have enough time to witness all the amazing perks of being in Pakistan, in a single visit. If not, you can go back, re-boost your energies and get back to the area with new excitement and enjoy the rest of it. Surely there is much more to witness than what we have shared with you now.

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Significance of Gwadar- A brief Overview

Gwadar is a port city located on the southwestern coast of the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The city is located on the shore of Arabian Sea and is about 700Km away from Karachi. Located near the border of Iran the Gwadar city is located to the east of the Persian Gulf and right opposite to Oman.

A Quick History of Gwadar:

Form the history, the Gwadar was a small to medium size setting with the economy mainly based on the artisanal fishing. The strategic value of Gwadar was initially appreciated in 1954 when it was identified as a suitable deepwater seaport by the geological survey conducted by the United States of America. That survey was conducted on the request of Pakistan. At that time the Gwadar was under the possession of Oman.

Despite having the idea of the value of Gwadar, its actual potential remained unveiled up till 2001. By the year 2001, the initial construction of the Gwadar Port was initiated. With a net cost of $248 million, the first phase was inaugurated by General Pervez Musharraf.

After construction, the port remained under-utilized for a number of reasons including insufficient investment, security issues and the failure of the Pakistani Government to transfer land as per promised to the port of Singapore Authority (they were the port operators that time).

The CPEC Project:

By the year 2015, China showed its intention of developing Gwadar port city with an investment of $46 billion under the name of CPEC (China- Pakistan Economic Corridor). China aimed to develop a One Belt- One Road with the idea to facilitate the trading activities using this road. The Gwadar is majorly featured in the CPEC project. It is also foreseen as a link between the Maritime Silk Road and the One-Belt, One Road project.

Investments in Gwadar:

Almost $ 1.153 billion worth infrastructure is planned to be invested in the Gwadar city, apart from the major CPEC projects. The aim of this initiative is to link Western China with Northern Pakistan to this deepwater seaport. The Gwadar city will also be a site for storing transported floating liquefied natural gas that will be a part of the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project.

Importance of Gwadar Port:

With the changing time, sea politics is getting complex with the massive involvement of economic prosperity and commercial activities, on a global level. The Gwadar port holds huge economic and strategic significance for Pakistan and is the third important seaport of Pakistan after the Karachi and Qasim Port.

Being located at the cross junction of the international shipping and the oil trading routes, the Gwadar port has become of massive global advantage for all the economies of the world, including Pakistan. This is the reason why Gwadar is considered to be acting as a trade hub in Pakistan. with its direct link to three major regions of the globe stated as; South Asia, Middle East, and Central Asia, the Gwadar port will be a new investment opportunity that will have a positive impact on therewith of Balochistan.

With Gwadar, Pakistan will be able to explore minerals, gas and oil resources and hydrocarbons, etc. the port is also attracting a massive amount of tourist and foreign investors and can be seen serving as a foreign reserve and free trade zone. All these features will surely help and play a role in the prosperity of Pakistan. It can also help to enhance the commercial and trade activities in the country.

Read also: 5 Reasons You Should Invest In Naval Anchorage Gwadar

At the same time, it is believed that the Gwadar will make Pakistan be a monitoring part of the Sea Line of Communications that comes from the Persian Gulf. With a strategic leveraging of investments and opportunities, the Gwadar will open up doors for new opportunities of the people of Pakistan and will help them in their economic growth and stability via Trans trading activities and foregone exchange reserves.

Gwadar is also believed to be boosting up the co-operation of Pakistan with other political establishments of the world in terms of energy and oil resources. At the same time the trade, hotel industry, and the state revenue sectors will have a positive impact. As the Gwadar is offering tax-free trade and investment opportunities, it is successfully attractive for foreign investors to open up and invest in pipeline projects and economic plans.

The Geo-Political Importance of Gwadar:

The Gwadar port has massive strategic importance and is increasing the importance and value of Pakistan in a global setting and specifically in the region. Through the Persian Gulf and the Indian Oceans and Southeast Asia, the Role of Pakistan is enhanced. With its close locality to the Strait of Hormuz, it will be a roadway to supply 13 million barrel oil on a daily basis.

Gateway to Central and Southwest Asia:

On its completion, the port is expected to open new vistas for development and cooperation in the region. The port is expected to offer facilities of transshipments, warehousing, coastal and transit trades, industrial as well as commercial facilities for international import-export trades. The above said are specifically referred to the Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, China, Central Asian States, Qatar and other countries of the region.

The Gwadar port is also believed to offer a cost-effective, safe, secure and uninterrupted supply of natural energy. This uninterrupted supply will help all these countries to sustain and smooth industrial development and growth. With its geostrategic position, Pakistan will bridge the transportation gaps and will offer the shortest possible route for energy transportation. At that same time, it will offer the shortest possible route to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea.

Developments at Gwadar Port:

With the partial technical and financial assistance of China, Pakistan has successfully completed the first phase of the deep-sea port in the Gwadar. The Gwadar port was initially inaugurated on the 20th of March 2007. A number of projects are already completed for about 50% and the rest of working is on the go. Phase 2 of Gwadar will include; a major cargo terminal; a ro-ro terminal, two oil terminals, and four container berths.

A- The Kara-Koram Highway:

Decided as to up-grade the KKH as the upgraded road is believed to be providing a short route to the sea and will be superficially beneficial for the product manufacturers from China. The KKH is also believed to be serving as an overland route for trading between India and China. It will also facilitate Pakistan and China in terms of trade and energy improvement, development of the railway links, oil and gas pipeline linkage and the fiber-optic connectivity along the highway under one project.

B- The railway System:

Along the KKH a railway line is developed and will be connecting China and Pakistan and is considered as a vital part of the energy and trade corridor. The aim of this railway web is to facilitate the trade activities as well as transport energy in case other means are not operational for any reason. This rail track will be linked to Gwadar as Gwadar will be carrying the oil-refining as well as storage facilities.

C- The Energy Pipelines:

The framework of the agreement on energy cooperation was initiated back in 2006. According to this agreement, an energy pipeline of 30-inch diameter will be installed from Khunjerab to Gwadar. This pipeline will pass through Awaran, Pir Muhammad, Khuzdar, Shikarpur, D. I. Khan, Kundian, Mianwali, Talagang, Pindi Ghraib, Fateh Jang, Haripur, Mansehra, Patan, Dasu, Chilas, Bunjil, Gilgit, Sust, and Khunjerab pass.

Benefits of Gwadar Port for Pakistan:

Top on the list is that with Gwadar, Pakistan can fulfill its energy needs and it can also secure benefits including; enhancement of trades with middle east and Cars; relations with the regional and neighbor countries will be improved; trades will be enhances; TAPI and IPI pipeline projects may lead to neutralized relations with India. Pakistan can also earn massive foreign exchange through transit fees and thus can improve its fore exchange reserves. With Gwadar port, the backward areas of Pakistan will improve gradually but significantly. There will be improvements in the literacy rate and the living conditions of backward areas of Pakistan and a lot of new jobs will come up due to foreign and local investments in the area. With the improvement in the overall economy, there would be an improvement in the hotel and tourism industry as well.

Read also: A Complete Guide For Overseas Pakistani To Invest In Pakistan Real Estate

It is amazing that a fishing village to yesterday is soon to become the hub of regional trade activities supplying Pakistan with the most needed support in all ways possible. The amazing significance of the Free Economic Trade Zone and the Gwadar Port is well known to the Government of Pakistan and is thus working on many different aspects of the idea to promote the value of Gwadar to international investors and to provide them will all what it takes to convince them of any kind of big or small industrial or residential investment. Expected is to have a brighter future as soon as the Gwadar Port is completely operational and playing in the field.

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5 Reasons You Should Invest in Naval Anchorage Gwadar

With all the prominence and fame of the CPEC, Pakistan is surely experiencing a high-level of economic development and growth. The real estate sector of Pakistan is the one that is blessed the most.

Among many prominent projects, the Gwadar Port is one of the most significant developments in the CPEC project. The Gwadar deep sea port is becoming the hub of international business and is thus successfully grabbing the attention of the international community and investors from all over the globe. This port is believed to be having a direct and prominent impact on the development of Pakistan on the whole and is expected to boost the economy of Pakistan visibly.

Considering the potential of the project the Pakistan Navy has come up with amazing development ideas among which the Naval Anchorage Gwadar is the most appreciated. The Naval Anchorage Gwadar is a housing society in Gwadar that is under the supervision of the Pakistan Navy Benevolent Association.

The Naval Anchorage has already executed and delivered a number of high-quality projects in Islamabad. The Naval Anchorage Gwadar was initiated back in 2017 and the USP of the scheme is that it is offering a competitive rate for residential plots and is becoming a new world of accommodation for those who are willing to be a part of the Gwadar and take benefits from all of its residential and commercial potential. The Naval Anchorage is believed to be a lucrative opportunity for the investors who are interested in Gwadar port city.

1- Location of Naval Anchorage Gwadar:

The Naval Anchorage Gwadar is located at the junction of the Coastal Highway and the Rakshan Avenue.  The Naval Anchorage Gwadar is located right at the zero point and is expected to cover about 450 acres of land. In the Naval Anchorage Gwadar, about 100 acres of land is solely dedicated to the greener including recreational parks and other green facilities.

2- Development Progress of Naval Anchorage Gwadar:

Approved by the Gwadar Development Authority and the NOC, the Naval Anchorage Gwadar is an authorized plan with a vast area under the agreement. Apart from 100 acres of the total lands that are dedicated to green plans, the Naval Anchorage Gwadar is planned as a gated community. The developers at the Naval Anchorage Gwadar are keeping their expectations realistic and thus are not promising anything that they are not able to or are not possible to be delivered. However, in any case, the project is a healthy investment opportunity because of the direct involvement of Pakistan Navy.

For the role of Navy, the investors can stay optimistic that whatever is promised will be delivered sooner or later but for sure. Not only the Navy can be a reason for investing in the Naval Anchorage Gwadar, but it is offering everything that can make the life of a person convenience including; high-class health care facilities; recreational facilities; schools, colleges; universities and many other planned amenities likes shopping malls etc.

3- Project features of the Naval Anchorage Gwadar

The salient features of the Naval Anchorage Gwadar include;

        More than 100 acres of green spaces only

        A residential project of more than 140 acres

        NOC and Gwadar Development Authority approved

        Airport located at the drive of 5 minutes

        Akra Dam is located at about 8 km away

        A gated and fully secure community

        World class healthcare facilities

        Self-sustaining amenities

        A network of schools, colleges and universities

        Secure and safe environment

        Gwadar port at about 20 minutes’ drive

        Jinnah Avenue at about 5 minutes’ drive

4- Plots at the Naval Anchorage Gwadar

At the Naval Anchorage Gwadar the plots are offered in the division of 5 Marla, 10 Marla, 1-Kanal, and in 2-Kanal residential plots.

5- Market Value of Naval Anchorage Gwadar

The Naval Anchorage Gwadar is surely an amazing investment opportunity. But the prices of the plots in here have fallen exclusively in the recent times. A few months back the prices fell for almost half of on what they initially started off. This case is more prominent for the cash files while the instalment files are not the same attitude. According to the financial specialists suggest buying less expensive plots or the one that are offering moderate rates at the Naval Anchorage Gwadar.

An Overview of the Investment Opportunities at the Naval Anchorage Gwadar:

Because of the direct mix of the components, the Naval Anchorage Gwadar is believed to be a long haul of investment. In this way, if one makes a long haul inspection the Naval Anchorage Gwadar can confidently take as the right place for investment in or around Gwadar. At the same time, the Naval Anchorage Gwadar can fill in as a takeoff for your investment venture and will give you the response same as that of the Gwadar Port itself.

According to the experts, those who have monetary allowances to pay everything it is better to put their resources into the cash files and this suggestion is purely based on the extensive measures for the distinction in the prices at the Naval Anchorage Gwadar.

With the realistic expectations, the Naval Anchorage Gwadar has effectively included the easy to deal with paying more for the instalments for cash files at the Naval Anchorage Gwadar. For all the said reasons the lodging plan looks hopeful and come with the guarantee of the facilities that include medical services, and all other amenities and necessities for life.

For those investors who are looking to secure their investments, secure their future and make some benefits out of the invested amount in coming future, the Naval Anchorage Gwadar is surely a good option. Backed by the Pakistan Navy the project surely comes with a number of benefits and security to the investment. The Naval Anchorage Gwadar has huge potential and benefits for the investors’ and the new infrastructure projects can be developed in Gwadar in the coming future. With the fast-paced development of the CPEC and the Gwadar Port City, today is the right time to make a decision and take the first step towards securing your own property at the most prominent location like Naval Anchorage Gwadar.

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Chinese Ambassador briefed on the progress of Rashakai Economic Zone under CPEC

PESHAWAR: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, visited Rashakai Special Economic Zone on Wednesday.

A statement issued here said that Ambassador Yao Jing visited on-site facilitation centre of Rashakai SEZ. He was accompanied by officials of the Economic Zones Development and Management Company (EZDMC) and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). He was given a briefing on the location plan, field studies and approach road of the zone.

Mr Yao appreciated the location and stressed on the importance of RSEZ in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Earlier, a joint venture agreement between the EZDMC and CRBC to develop 1,000 acres Rashakai SEZ was signed by the company’s CEO Saeed Ahmed and senior management of CRBC in Beijing on Nov 2018.

It said that the SEZ would be a modern economic zone offering excellent infrastructure and amenities to the industrialists.

According to the agreement, CRBC will be responsible for marketing the zone locally and internationally.

As part of its marketing efforts, it is in advance stages of inviting local investors and Chinese large-scale manufacturers to invest in the zone.

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Top Developments in Gwadar in 2017

Gwadar Port in Pakistan and the CPEC are equally attractive and interesting idea for foreign as well as local investors. The government of Pakistan has also set up a tax-free industrial zone for the International standard areas in Gwadar. Expected is that the Government will offer more concession to the foreign investors in the coming times. On the other had investors from different parts of the world are showing their interest in Gwadar. The investors specifically from Afghanistan, Central Asia, South Korea, China, Singapore and Japan are showing their interest in the establishment of Industrial Estate in Gwadar.

The Gwadar is set to transform the small coastal town into a multicultural port city. For all the said reasons the property investment is Gwadar is coming up as a profitable investment. The real estate buying and selling are at its peak and the real-estate investors, the businessmen and companies are showing interest in the area. The Gwadar is focused on the upcoming real estate projects in Gwadar and is looking forward to boosting the sale and purchase of land in coming time.

The rich investors are interested in buying industrial plots as well as residential plots, around the city. Both types of lands are offered with different schemes and packages. The fully operational Port of Gwadar is believed to boost the industrialization process in the region and is said to bring a lot of benefits to the world. With a fully functional zone, Gwadar is believed to be an industrial zone that will have a major influence on the economy of the world by facilitating the trade and industrial activities.

The government of Pakistan has planned to establish and promote the industrial zone and opening the major banks’ franchises to facilitate the loan and other financial services to the interested investors.

Planned Setups in Gwadar:

Gwadar has come up with the planned industries and will offer the following facilities to the investors:

• Small manufacturing zones
• Major electronic fabrication and assembly setups
• Wood and metal fabrication and assembly
• PVC housing & extrusion and Re-packaging
• Fish processing & canning and Life engineering
• Textile & garments and Food & flour mills
• Refrigeration & cold storages.

For the said promotion of the Gwadar Port, there are many other planned activities that are in the pipeline. These include; commercial plots, housing schemes, sports services and many others. The master plan of Gwadar includes setting factories that will be offering services to the future manufacturing and other plants that will settle in the area. While on the other hand a wide range of housing schemes are designed for both low and high-income groups that will be linked with the Gwadar Port City.

The Free Trade Zone:

Another prominent feature is the Free Trade Zone and the Export Processing Zone that is said to have a huge potential for investment as well as the development of small, medium as well as large scale industries. These industries are believed to be generating revenue for themselves and the government with a huge profit margin and employment for people in Pakistan.

The Gwadar Port and CPEC are expected to bring a new era of industrial level development in Balochistan as the province has massive industrial potential including fisheries, livestock, minerals and agriculture. By exploiting these key sources of the providence we can generate a massive amount of industrial benefits for the country and the region.

Top Developments in Gwadar in 2017:

New Gwadar International Airport: An uninterrupted transportation and convenient business communication is the core reason for initiating the idea of CPEC. With such an intention, the Gwadar is also meant to facilitate the residents with easy travelling. For this reason, the bus and train routes and the national and International air travelling routes is something a must for the project. For this reason, the Gwadar project is facilitated with a comprehensive International Airport. The Gwadar International Airport Project was inaugurated in April 2018. It is believed to be the largest Airport in Pakistan that acquires an area of 3700 acres. The project has already acquired financial clearance and the project is obtained by a Chinese company that will be executing the idea. Once completed the airport is believed to become a hub for international trading activities in Pakistan.

gwadar international airport

Oil City in Gwadar: Pakistan is rich with natural resources and is believed to offer more such surprises in future as well. Just like the amazing potential of the Gwadar Port City along with the CPEC idea the area will offer a number of other opportunities to the world. Along with many other developments the Government of Pakistan has decided to construct a mega oil city on the Gwadar. This city is believed to acquire 80,000 acres of land. The mega oil city will be used to transport oil to China. This transported oil will be bought from the gulf. This mega oil city will help you reduce to half; the travelling distance, cost and time from the Gulf to China. The Gwadar port city is purposed to store oil for its further transfer to China, via Pakistan. With this route, the oil will be transported to China in time to 7 working days. This project will also be executed by a Chinese company that has already started working on it since August 14, 2018.

Oil city gwadar

The Fiber Optic Project: This is an under-construction project of 820 Kilometers that is laid from China-Pakistan Border to Khunjerab and Rawalpindi. The project was initiated back in 2016 in the city of Gilgit and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. This line will connect the Transit Europe-Asia Terrestrial Cable Network with Pakistan. The project is currently transmitting the internet traffic through four undersea fibre optic cables. The project is financed by Exim Bank of China (source: Wikipedia).

fiber optic project gwadar

Railway Network Project: As the CPEC places an emphasis on the up graduating of Pakistan transportation infrastructure including building the main line between Karachi and Peshawar supporting the transportation structure of Pakistan. The railway provides direct access to Chinese and East Asian goods of Pakistan’s seaports at Gwadar and Karachi by 2030.

gwadar railway network

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History of Gwadar: Past, Present and Future

Although a few years back the word Gwadar was not known to many but the past few years have changed the fact. Gwadar is one of the most spoke about cities of the world. Gwadar is a port city in the South-Western Cost of the province of Balochistan in Pakistan. The Gwadar city is located on the shores of Arabian Sea. The city is almost 700 KM away from Karachi (the largest city of Pakistan). Another amazing geographic fact linked with Gwadar is that it is near the border of Iran and is situated to the east of Persian Gulf- which is right opposite to Oman. In the past, from 1783 to 1958, the Gwadar port was in possession of Oman.

For most of the history, Gwadar remained a small size settlement where the economy was majorly based on fishing. The strategic value of the location was accepted in 1954 when it was pointed out as a perfect site to be used as a deepwater port by “US Geological Survey”. The potential of the Gawdar port remained unrecognized during different governments of Pakistan till 2001. In the year 2001, the construction of the initial phase of Gawadar was initiated.

General Pervaiz Musharraf inaugurated the first phase in the year 2007 with a net cost of $248 million.  However, even after the construction, the port remained under-utilized for a number of reasons including security concerns, lack of investment, and the failure of management of the government in transferring the land as per commitment to the operator of the port which was “Port of Singapore Authority

By the time Pakistan reached 2015, the government of Pakistan announced a patch up China to develop a mega project of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) which was worth $46 billion. The project is believed to a part of China’s One Belt One Road program. “China’s Xi in Pakistan to cement huge infrastructure projects, submarine sales”. Gwadar is the backbone of the One Belt One Road project and about 1.153 billion dollars are said to be invested in the city as a part of the project CPEC (Wikipedia). The aim of this project is to link the Northern side of Pakistan with the Western side of China through the seaport.

The Origin

Just like other parts of Balochistan, the Gwadar city also had some ancient roots that are not clearly approached yet. However, the city shows inhibition linked with the bronze age of the settlement. According to the studies, for a period the city was under the regime of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The history claims that this area was conquered by the founder of the Persian Empire known as “Cyrus the Great.”

During his journey back to home, the Alexander the Great stepped their feet in the areas which are now known to us as Balochistan. The then consisted of inhabited and Dry Mountains. After the collapse of Empire of Alexander the area ruled by Seleucus Nicator who was one of the generals of Alexander. Later during 303BCE, the region came under the rule of Mauryan after the Seleucus made peace with Emperor Chandragupta.

The Territory of Gwadar:

After a millennium, the Arab-Muslims invade the region and in next century there were the areas was ruled by different powers. While for the next two centuries, the area was ruled by local tribes of Balochistan.  From 1863 to 1879 the area of Gwadar remained to headquarter of the British Assistant Political agent and remained a Fortnightly port for British Indian Steamship Navigation Company. It also worked as the port for telegraph and post office. Later in the 1950s, the port was headed over to Pakistan.

Gwadar Port of Pakistan

Soon after the independence of Pakistan the Balochistan acceded to Pakistan and was allocated as a separate district. At that time Gwadar was not a part of Balochistan. Later in the year 1958, the Gwadar port and adjacent areas were handed over to Pakistan by Muscat. By then it was given the status of Tehsil of Balochistan. Later in the year 1977, the Makran District was upgraded and divided into two divisions named as district Turbat, Gwadar and Panjgur.

September 8, 1958, was that date when Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for 5.5 billion PKR. The agreement signed stated two important clauses; the first one stated that Balochistan will offer an army recruitment platform for Oman as a result of which Balochis will establish a major part of Omani forces and secondly the resources of Gwadar will be developed in future.

In the year 1993, the Government of Pakistan conceived the plan to develop Gwadar as a major port city and connect it with a rail and highway network. Officially the construction of Gwadar started on March 2002 phase one of which was completed in March 2007.  The port was inaugurated on 20th of March the same year.

Developments in Gwadar:

From the year 2002 to 2007 Gwadar underwent some major developments. In 2002 the NHA (Pakistan National Highway Authority) started production of the 653 Km- long Makran Coastal Highway, this highway was meant to link Karachi with Gwadar via Ormara and Pansi moving on to linking it with all other highways in Pakistan. The project was completed in 2004. In the year 2003, the Gwadar Development Authority started planning and development of the Gwadar for which an authority with the name  “Industrial Estate Development of Gwadar” was formulated to deal with the industrial activities. The three currently functional multipurpose berths of the deep-sea-port have a capacity to handle carriers of 30,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) ). The construction started in the year 2004. By the year 2006, the Gwadar Development Authority conceived established and adopted the 50-year plan for the City of Gwadar. Later in 2007, the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan acquired a huge area to construct a greenfield airport that was named as the New Gwadar International Airport (Wikipedia).

The Gwadar Port:

Since a long time, China has an interest in Gwadar Port. In 2013 the China Overseas Port Holdings Limited assimilated the Gwadar Port. The Gwadar port is very important for China as about 60% of the oil in China comes from the Persian Gulf. This oil is transported by the Ships that travel for about 16,000 KM in the time duration of 2 to 3 months. This journey is full of risks including; bad weather, pirates, or political rivals, along with many others. It is also risky for the only commercial port of China that is located in the Shanghai. Gwadar will help to reduce the risks and distance limiting it to 50000 Km and can also serve China around the year.

China has remained fully involved in designing the project. It has provided about 80% of the cost of constructing the port. More than 500 Chinese workers are working on the port, around the clock.

China is keenly focused on setting up the Gwadar port because they find at advantageous in terms of saving time and security of import and exports. In this regard, China has paid 360 million USD to Pakistan for the expansion and the up gradation of the import and export processing around the year. The transportation will be done by Karakoram Highway China to Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan is highly committed to providing a secure base to China in shape of Gwadar. This will help Pakistan to secure the Gwadar port and to strengthen the Pak-China relationship.

The Culture of Gwadar:

The location and history of Gwadar have given it a unique yet interesting blend of cultures. The Arabic influence on the city can clearly be seen because of the strong impact of Omani era as well as the closeness with the Arabian Peninsula. The legacy os Omani can also be witnessed in the local population of which you can trace the lineage to Afro-Arab and the Zanj Slaves. These people came and settled in the area in the Omani rules. You can also find some remains of building constructed in Omani era.

The Geographic Position of Gwadar in Relation to Oman

Topography:

Gwadar is located on the sandy and narrow strip, with a natural hammerhead-shaped point linked with a coastline of Makran.  The points of the port make two perfect yet naturally curved bays on each side of the point.

The North side of the city and the Gwadar Promontory is flat and barren.  The Koh-e-Mehndi (the white clay) is a prominent exception that is raised sharply from the plans to the Northern-East of Gwadar. Followed by the mega earthquake in 2013, a small island was formed which is located almost 2 KM off the Coast (Wikipedia).

The Population:

The population of the city has increased for about 85,000 as reported in the year 2014. Majority of the people living in Gwadar have their roots linked with the Balochistan.

The Climate of Gwadar:

Gwadar has extreme hot and deserted climate with very little precipitation and massive variations in winter and summer temperature. The ocean had a great influence on the temperature that is lower in summer and higher in winter. On average the temperature in June remains 31 to 31°C while in winters it fluctuates between 18 to 19°C. The uniformity of the temperature is distinctive of the Coastal Makran region.

Also, the wind moving down by the plateau of Balochistan give a cooling influence, otherwise the winter remains pleasant. Winters are shorter as compare to summer. The Gwadar is located out of the monsoon belt. For this reason, it occasionally receives the monsoon rains in the summer season. While in winters there is heavy rainfall due to Western Disturbance. On average the annual rainfall is about 3 inches.

Administration and Neighborhood of Gwadar

Gwadar serves as headquarter for Gwadar tehsil and Gwadr District. While the Gwadar tehsil is sub divided into 5 different union counsels on the basis of administration named; Gwadar Central, South Gwadar, North Gwadar, Pishukan, Sorbandar.

  •  The Gwadar Central in sub-divided into different parts named as; Gazrawan, Komagri, Mohallah Zahoor Shah, Sohrabi, Saleh Muhammad and Usmania.
  •  The South Gwadar is Divided into; Kamari, Mohallah Karim Bakhsh, Mohallah Shahdu Band, Mullah Band, Murad Bakhsh, Sarabi, Sheikh Umar and Tobagh.
  •  The North Gwadar is sub-divided into; Lal Baksh, Mohalla Baloch, Mohalla Mir Abdul Ghafoor and Mujahid.

The Strategic Value of Gwadar

The Gwadar port can help China to work with around the clock active port with security and time efficiency. It will also offer China an attending post to observe the Indian naval activities around the Gulf of Aden, the Persian Gulf, South Asia and Central Asia. It means that it will cover the following regions; Central Asian republics, Caspian Region, Iran and Afghanistan. Among all these Caspian Sea is the most potential region in terms of monetary approaches. At the same time, it offers vital positioning to the area geographically. Iran is one of those countries that are supporting the development of the Port of Gwadar.

Gwadar- The Free Zone

In the past, the economy of Gwadar has mostly remained dependent on fishing. However, with the passage of time and in recent times, the economy of Gwadar has undergone some major transformation resulting in the transformation is a small fishing village in the major Port city of Pakistan. It has helped in enhancing the communication links between all parts of Pakistan.  The 1400 Km Trans-Afghan Gas Pipeline also known as the TAP will be linked from Turkmenistan to Gwadar port. It is believed to be a comprehensive project that will boost the Natural gas dealers of Turkmen to reach the market of South Asia that will lead to many financial benefits for the region overall.

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CPEC – How It Can Benefit Pakistan in Short & Long Term

China has always worked as a loyal partner to Pakistan. The history of friendship between both the countries has set many examples in the past. Despite what the world thinks or speaks about Pakistan, China has always stood by its side. A number of initiatives have been taken in the past to support and boost the friendship of both the countries.

An upcoming brainstormed initiative taken by China and Pakistan is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor- popularly known as the CPEC. Being a mutually advantageous project for both the nations, this initiative is expected to reduce costs of transportation to the Middle East and Europe, for China. The project of CPEC offers both long and short term benefits for Pakistan and China.

CPEC Route Map

Importance of CPEC

We can evaluate the importance of CPEC to China by the fact that it is included in China’s 13th five-year development plan. The CPEC projects are believed to be offering China with an alternate route for supply of energy and a new route to Western China that will support the trade processing. Pakistan also stands to earn benefits with the upgraded infrastructure and the introduction of a reliable, uninterrupted and long-lasting energy supply.

Forbes has claimed that the CPEC is a part of the vision of China to write down the rules of next era of globalization and to help the exports as well as investment engines of China to run, uninterrupted, for years. It is also believed that the project of CPEC is a project that has strategic and economic consequences that demand methodical evaluation.

Now let us move towards overviewing the short-term and long-term benefits this project has in the bag for the bonding countries!

Read also: An Essential Guide To Real Estate Investment In Gwadar

Short-Term Benefits

As per the short-term benefits of this initiative, one of the most important is the fee that Pakistan can charge for transportation of products and goods, which will commence through this trading corridor.

Such benefits are quite similar to which are being reaped by Panama through the Panama Canal, as well as Egypt in the form of the Suez Canal. On top of that, if Pakistan is able to offer the Chinese workers wwith a comfortable and suitable working environment, in order to relocate their labour-intensive industries, the rewards can be higher for the country’s economic condition.

The Long-Term Benefits

When we speak about the long-term benefits which both parties will gain from this initiative we can say that they are concerned with the health and skills indicators as well as the educational development of Pakistan. At the same time they are focused to initiate more investment and funds to the hi-tech industries which are set-up in Pakistan.

Currently, the goods which are being shipped from Central China to Europe have to travel a total distance of 19,132 miles, out of which 16,507 is through the sea, while 2,625 miles are covered by land; which is basically the distance from the Shanghai port to Central China. After CPEC is completed, the goods will only have to travel a total distance of 9,579 miles, out of which 7,847 will be by sea, while 1,750 miles on land,  which is the distance from Karachi to Central China.

Apart from the drastic reduction in the mileage, the time which is needed to ship products and the goods from the already existing route to the route developed after CPEC will be reduced by 50 percent; that is from 50 days to 25 days.

Read also: Why You Must Visit Gwadar: Reasons That You Would Not Like To Miss Out

The Expenses for Businessmen

At the time, the freight charges for every 40 feet container transported from Hamburg to Shanghai are around $2,500 to $3,000. Once the CPEC initiative is complete, these charges for a 40 feet container would drop down to around $1,000. It means that the businessmen would be able to save around 50 to 65 percent of the freight chargers they have to pay, and they Chinese exporters would be able to get their payments in half the time they had to wait before CPEC.

As for the shipment which is coming from the Middle East would also be able to achieve substantial benefits, in terms of time and the transportation costs. Speaking about the Middle East, currently a 40 feet container transported from Central China to the Middle East takes about 12,537 miles to reach its destination, out of which 9,912 miles are by sea and 2,625 are by road. Once CPEC has been completed, the same 40 feet container would take 2,295 miles to reach the destination, in which 545 miles would be from the seaway, while 1,750 are by road. This means that the distance between the Middle East and Central China would be reduced by around 80 percent.

Similar to Europe, the reduced distance of transportation would also cut down the charges for the shipment. Currently, the freight charges from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi are around $2,000 for specifically a 40 feet container, whereas through this route, it takes around 16 days for this shipment to reach its destination. With the development of CPEC, these prices will come down to $200 to $250 for a 40 feet container, and the time would also be reduced to about 2 to 3 days maximum.

Moreover, the CPEC will also be able to offer the shortest route to landlocked nations, such as Afghanistan to China, the Indian Ocean and India itself. On top of everything else, the distance compared to the nearest port of Chabahar would be around 600 kilometers lesser!

Short or long, the CPEC has potentially laid the foundation of benefits for both the parties and is expected to open doors of opportunities in coming future as well. Both the countries are currently working on a number of developmental projects and investments that are focused on reaping long run fruits as the CPEC will touch its completion.

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