(07 March, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that Gwader is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, approximately 700 kilometers to the west of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi to the east of the Persian Gulf and opposite Oman. Gwader features heavily in CPEC, and is also envisaged to be the link between the One Belt, One Road and Maritime Silk Road project. $1.153 billion worth of infrastructure projects will be invested into the city as part of CPEC, with the aim of linking northern Pakistan and western China to the deep water seaport.
Mian Zahid Hussain said in addition to investments directly under the aegis of CPEC in Gwader city, the China Overseas Port Holding Company in June 2016 began construction on the $2 billion Gwader Special Economic Zone, which is being modelled on the lines of the Special Economic Zones of China. Gwader port is strategically important for China as 60 percent of China’s oil comes from the Persian Gulf by ships travelling over 16,000 kilometers in two to three months and other risks up to its only commercial port, Shanghai. Gwader will reduce the distance to a mere 5000 kilometers and also serve round the year.
The veteran business leader said that China is providing approximately 80% of the cost of the port in the shape of grants and soft loans. China is setting up a dry port at the Pakistan–China border to take advantage of shorter route to sea through Gwader. China paid US$360 million to Pakistan for expansion and an upgrade for all weather traffic ability of Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan with China. The contract has been awarded to Frontier Works Organization, who has also started the project.
The former minister said the Gwader should Chamber of commerce and industry considering importance of strategic location of Gwader should send their recommendations and suggestions to the Government so that the business community of the city may equally participate in the race of development and can play part in the economic development of the Country.