China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is progressing with a phenomenal pace. The great economic development project inspired by the Chinese vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) started in 2013. In the past six years, 11 CPEC projects have reached fruition. 11 are under construction. The total investment of the 22 projects is around $18.9 billion (USD) with 20 more projects in the pipeline. Currently, CPEC has stepped into the second phase which is focused on the socio-economic development of Pakistan. The first phase pre-dominantly focused on meeting Pakistan’s energy needs and developing transportation infrastructure in Pakistan. Overall, under CPEC, the major avenues of focus comprise Energy, Infrastructure, Gwadar Port and Industrial Cooperation.
While all the major avenues of CPEC are developing with an accelerating pace, the speed of development in Gwadar can hardly be overlooked. Gwadar has a huge significance in overall CPEC because of Gwadar port which has the potential to bring China at the doorstep of international trade and make Pakistan a key stakeholder in it.
Under CPEC, as per the agreement among China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC), Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) & Singapore Port Authority in 2013, development and operation of Gwadar Free Zone was assigned to the COPHC. Until now, COPHC has invested $250 million to renovate Gwadar port. The speed of development in the port is remarkable as five new quay cranes, a 100,000 meters storage yard, a seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 220,000 gallons pure water/day, two sets of sewage disposal systems & cargo handling equipment have been installed and 80,000 meters green space has been added to the port area. The good news is that the port has been operationalized for exports and 400,000 tons of cargo has been handled by Gwadar Port in 2017.
Another key feature in the development of Gwadar in the wake of CPEC is the development of Gwadar Free Zone which is at a distance of 7 kilometers from the port. Gwadar Free Zone will be developed from 2015 to 2030 and its development has been divided into four phases. Moreover, Gwadar East Bay Expressway is one other takeaway from Gwadar’s development under CPEC. The project was signed in September and its construction started in November 2017. Once it is inaugurated, it will turn out to be the main channel for the cargo distribution of Gwadar Port and a vital communication line to connect the Free Zone in Gwadar’s southern and northern areas.
Gwadar is currently being designed as per Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan which was approved by Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) on August 23, 2019. Gwadar Master Plan, once actualized, will transform the port city into a hub of industrialization, commercial activity and international marine trade. Ministry of Planning and Development recently made a forecast as per which Gwadar port has the potential to raise Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to US $200 billion to US $300 billion by 2050. According to the forecast, Gwadar will contribute to Pakistan’s economy US $6 billion in the short term by 2025 and US $24 billion in 2035. Similarly, the per capita income of the citizens in Gwadar will be around US $2000 in 2025 while it will rise to US $4000 by 2035. In addition to that, as per the forecast, the per capita income of the city will further surge to around US $10,000 to US $15,000 in the long term.
The development of Gwadar can turn around Pakistan’s economy. This is something that was testified recently by Chinese visiting Professor Cheng Xizhong at Southwest University of Political Science and Law. In an article published by China Economic Net, the Chinese professor wrote that the pace of development in Gwadar would determine the speed of development in Pakistan as a whole. Furthermore, he opined that there was a need to further speed up the construction of Gwadar Port and make it “Shenzhen of Pakistan”. Shenzhen was just a small fishing village in the early 1980s in China. After about 25 years of development, it became a modern city and turned out to be a springboard for the current economic development of China.
CPEC carries in its lap massive development for Gwadar. Being a core project of CPEC, Gwadar has been gaining popular traction among developers and investors. In order to catch up with the housing needs of Gwadar coming in the wake of development promised by Gwadar Master Plan, Rafi Group has sped up construction in Green Palms Housing Project after its first successful balloting. The housing scheme is the premium housing project in Gwadar and has been designed by modern architects with all basic necessities of life. There is no gainsaying the fact that the housing project’s strategic location in Gwadar carries lucrative prospects for business investors. Rafi Group is the pioneer of the land development sector in Gwadar and is a trusted name in the real estate market across Pakistan since 1978.
In a nutshell, CPEC, in general, and Gwadar, in particular, will decide the future of Pakistan’s economy. Gwadar is a fortune maker. It’s a high time to turn the direction of your investment to Gwadar and the best place to invest in Gwadar is Green Palms Housing Project which will not only offer affordable yet luxurious lifestyle to its residents as per the needs of modern age but, because of its strategic location in Gwadar as well.