The word “Gwadar” is a combination of two Balochi words—” Gwat” (wind) and “Dar” (gateway). The literal meaning of Gwadar is “gate.
CPEC is a pilot project of the Belt and Road initiative which aims to provide economic and social development to the people of the region. Pakistan is a significant partner for China as the geographical location of Pakistan allows China to link with Central Asian, Southern Asian, and Middle eastern regions for its exports and transport activities. The deep-sea Gwadar port of Pakistan also offers direct access for China to the Indian Ocean.
The Gwadar port is the most important part of the CPEC due to its strategic location. Gwadar is of great significance to China because of two major reasons;
- The deep-sea port gives China long term access to the Indian ocean.
- Reduction in transportation cost of oil coming to China from middle east due to the close proximity of Gwadar port to Persian Gulf.
Gwadar port is located on the top part of North Arabia sea. Due to its strategic location, it has the potential to connect China with 4 regions which are very rich in resources and thus provides the shortest possible transit to them. These four regions include South Asia, Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East.
Under the agreement for CPEC, China has been allowed a 40year operating and management lease of Gwadar port thus development of Gwadar is an essential point for the success of CPEC for China. Development of Gwadar is also linked to China’s larger plan of the development of Silk road economic belt (SREB) and a Maritime silk road (MSR) which will link China especially western parts to Europe and other continents for trade and cheaper transportation.