Gwadar Free Zone has so far attracted $ 474 million from 30 different companies as direct foreign investment. The government sources provided no further details of these companies and investments, but confirmed that foreign direct investment is coming into Gwadar. It is really an encouraging sign for the deep sea port on Arabian Sea in Baluchistan. Pakistan needs foreign direct investment to boost the economy and to generate more jobs and economic opportunities.
The Gwadar Free Zone, being developed by a Chinese company, is located in the northern part of Gwadar, about 7km away from the port. The planned development period is from 2015 to 2030 and is divided into four phases. The pilot phase of the free zone has already been completed. The 923-hectare Free Zone includes an initial area (25 hectares) and the northern area (898 hectares).
The construction of the initial area includes a few projects: infrastructure, business centre, trade exhibition hall, cold storage and warehouse. All those constructions have been completed in 2018. The Gwadar Free Zone was inaugurated, and the first International Expo was held in January 2018. With the construction of the free zone, the city of Gwadar will become a commercial hub of the region in the near future.
The work is under process on the building the new international airport in Gwadar by Chinese company. The Chinese government has provided the aid to develop new airport and free zone in Gwadar. The initial work including design and the feasibility study for construction of a new international airport has already been finalised. The completion of the new airport will place Gwadar, an important component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework on the global aviation map.
It will be an airport of international standards capable of handling the largest of passenger planes, including the A380 Boeing Jet, and is aimed at facilitating the movement of international investors and visitors.
Efforts are also underway to start work on a technical and vocational institute this year to meet the demand of skilled workers for the port and the free zone. Land has been acquired for the purpose, while the design and feasibility study have also been completed.
The construction of China-Pakistan friendship hospital will start in the next few months to ensure medical facilities for the local population. A project for provision of 200,000-gallons of water to the residents of Gwadar has already been started.
Chinese company builds the Gwadar port but it was handed over to Singapore Port Company for operational purposes during the Musharraf regime. . But Singapore Company showed no interest to make this port operational and to complete the development work.
The PPP government took the decision to take back the port from Singapore Port Company and handed it over to Chinese company. The Chinese government is spending huge amount of money on this port and to build the infrastructure to support the shipping activities under CPEC. Vessels and ships have started arriving and they are bringing cargo and equipment for the work on port and it will become fully operational in three to four years.
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17 November, 2019