China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important corridor that will connect the private sectors of both the countries by bringing unprecedented investment. It is an initiative towards the era of industrialization by establishing special economic zones.
Gwadar is situated on the south-western coast of the Balochistan province of Pakistan. It is known as a gateway to the oil-rich Middle East, Central and South Asia as approximately 40 percent of the world’s oil passes through it.
The chairman of the China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), Zhang Baozhong sees Gwadar not as Dubai, not even Shenzhen but a city far superior to either, in the upcoming years.
Here are some of the projects being developed under CPEC that are nearing completion:
- 300 megawatts Coal-fired Gwadar Power Plant
One of the key energy projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a 300 megawatts coal-fired Gwadar Power Plant is expected to be operational from October 2023, catering the needs of 150,000 people of Gwadar. More importantly, the power plant will lay the foundation of extensive socio-economic development in the region that needs power as a pre-requisite.
- Gwadar – a hub port
Hub port is a single concentrated point for the collection of several trades and Gwadar serves as a hub port.
Gwadar port is strategically located at the crossroads of natural resources of the warm waters of the Middle East and Central Asia which have a large consumer market. It is being equipped with modern cargo handling facilities to meet the challenges of the growing world trade, 70 percent of which is conducted through containers.
Gwadar port is an important zone due to its share of trade, and acts as a hub port for the entire region.
- Pak-China Vocational Training Institute
Pak-China vocational training institute is another landmark of Gwadar under CPEC. The main objective of the institute is to provide the best technical education and skills to the youth of Balochistan especially Gwadar.
Under this vocational training institute, students are not only provided free accommodation but also scholarships during training in the institute. Therefore, this project is proposed to shape and enhance the skills of the active population of Gwadar to participate in the growth of the Chinese backed smart port city.
The training institute will improve the overall education and skill of the entire region, which would play a significant role in the region’s development. Moreover, it will play an important role in securing decent employment by providing vocational training to the talented youth.
- Gwadar Hospital
Gwadar Hospital is another milestone of CPEC that helps in strengthening the socio-economic development of the region.
This project consists of medical blocks, nursing and paramedical institutes, medical college, central laboratory and other associated facilities. These facilities will be constructed with an extensive supply of medical equipment and machinery. The total land allocation for the hospital is 68 acres – providing huge possibilities for the future.
- Gwadar Port facilitating Pak-China Friendship
The Gwadar Port will help China establish trade routes over the seashore that other Arab countries share. The Chinese government has also declared every possible assistance to turn Pakistan’s economy around by investing billions of dollars into it. The port will further improve the maritime relations and connectivity between the two countries, so both can aid each other in military operations.
All in all, the port is a step towards grounding the relationship between Pakistan and the emerging superpower. Not only will it enhance the bi-lateral ties between the two nations but also help them spread the peace across the continent.