Balochistan is territorially Pakistan’s largest province. It is sparsely populated and also the richest in natural resources. Its strategic location straddling Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and a 750-kilometre long coastline from the Arabian Sea to the state of Hormuz, is lucrative for military and commercial activities. Moreover, it has strategically important luxurious pinnacle points. Gwadar is the heart of these strategically important places. It has an interesting history; after 200 years of Omani rule, on 8th September 1958, Pakistan purchased Gwadar from Oman for US $3 million. The foresightedness of Pakistani officials must be appreciated, as Gwadar is now the game changer for Pakistan and Balochistan. Mentioning Balochistan here is vital.
Gwadar is the third largest deep-sea port, located at the cross junction of international sea shipping and oil trade routes. Yet, Pakistani strategists believe that it can play a major role as an international trade hub for Pakistan. By the end of next month, the port will be officially operational and open to the world. Also, the first international expo will be held at Gwadar on January 29-30, to project the potentials of Gwadar port, mainly its Special Economic Zone.
The Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo has told his Ministry to publicly announce the tender notice for mega construction projects elevated with express way that links kemari, West and East Wharf to the Northern bypass. This expressway will be a kind of coastal highway, which will bring more international investment in the country.
By analysis of available data, I can say that one thing is crystal clear that Gwadar is the heartbeat of CPEC, whereas its development is directly proportional to the success rate of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The carpeting of infrastructure will eventually increase the outreach in international arena. It will attract entrepreneurship.
Now, there is a major role to be played by local businessmen as the vivid developments of industry depends on them. If the local businessmen make efforts to flourish the business at peripheries of Gwadar, it will double down the developments and also it will maintain the Human Development Index. The resorts, entertaining facilities and vocational programs will also generate a handsome amount of money. The Government of Balochistan is already supporting the local and international businessmen as the development is not only about Gwadar but whole Balochistan.