Gwadar is jewel of the world
Gwadar is jewel of the 21st century world due to it’s strategic location & importance. Historically, the first city to be called as the jewel of the world was Cordoba or Qurtaba, the 10th century capital of Umayyad Empire of Spain. Cordoba surpassed the rest of the world in economy, architecture, medicine, education and technology. Spanish income from just Olives and Silk was greater than rest of Europe.
Gwadar is a planned free trade port city of Pakistan, located in the province Balochistan. Current population of Gwadar city is approximately 100,000. It is expected that after the development of Gwadar port, city’s population will reach about 1 million. Gwadar is about 700 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar Port is located at the important oil shipping routes of Persian Gulf.
Gwadar Port was developed by the Governments of Pakistan and China. Phase 1 of the development completed in 2007, when the port was opened by President Pervaiz Musharaf. In Phase 2 of development, port operations were officially handed over to China in 2013 by President Asif Ali Zardari. The agreement with China was signed to fully develop the port for commercial uses. Same year Iran announced to setup an oil refinery at the port, that will process 400,000 barrels of oil per day. It was also agreed that China will invest 12 billion dollars for the infrastructure developments, including roads and rail tracks. In 2015, Pakistan transferred the management rights to China for 40 years. Now China will develop and operate the Gwadar Port for next 40 years. China has also invested $46 billion for the development of Gwadar Port and Gwadar-Kashgar Trade Corridor. Both projects would be operational by 2017.
Gwadar port’s Advantages to China
21st century is the Chinese century. Recently, Chinese economy has surpassed that of United States. Now China is the largest economy of the world in term of PPP and volume of trade. China is also the largest importer of Saudi Arabian oil that passes through the straits of Hormuz and Persian Gulf. Oil is transported from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern countries to Shanghai, after passing a distance of 16,000 kilometers. Gwadar port and infrastructure developments will reduce this distance and will make sure the safe transfer of oil from Middle East to China. Therefore, Gwadar port is very important for growing economy of China.
Gwadar Port’s Advantages to Pakistan
Economic revival & job creation in Pakistan
Due to Gwadar Port, economy of Pakistan will pickup. This huge development will attract large direct foreign investment and economy will revive. At the same time, development & operation of Gwadar port will require huge manpower. This project will create millions of jobs, due to which unemployment will reduce and prosperity will increase in Pakistan.
Revival of the stagnant real estate sector in Pakistan
Whenever a country attracts direct foreign investment, large part of that investment is parked in the real estate sector. Same was the case in the real estate boom of 2003-2005 in Pakistan. In 2003-2005, Pakistan received the large funds from the collation partners. Larger part of that money was parked in the real estate sector and Pakistan saw property boom. Gwadar port’s development will once again revive the real estate sector of Pakistan.
House prices in Punjab will adjust to affordable level
People from the different parts of Pakistan love to live in Punjab as more jobs are created in Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. About half a million houses are required per year to solve the housing shortage in Punjab. This shortage of housing is increasing the house prices and people are forced out of home ownership. With the development of Gwadar Port, people will migrate to Balochistan for employment rather than Punjab. This will reduce the burden on Punjab and house prices will automatically adjust to the affordable level.
Agricultural land would be saved in Punjab Pakistan
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan in term of area with a population of just 8 million, whereas Punjab is the second largest province of Pakistan in term of area with a population of 110 million. Larger part of Balochistan is empty, whereas Punjab is overcrowded. Punjab is also the main wheat or crops producer of Pakistan, but we are wasting agricultural land for building houses. This trend will change with the development of Gwadar Port, as Balochistan would be more important region with more job creation. People will shift from different parts of the country to Balochistan for employment. This will help us to develop Balochistan for building houses and we can save our valuable agricultural land in Punjab for wheat or crops production.