Presently researchers identified that ports have become even more important than they were formerly as they play a role of utmost importance to an economy in transition. Ports are one of the main components of the general transportation sector and are connected to the expanding world economy. One might say that ports are a means of integration into the global economic system.
Experts mentioned various characteristics of ports that make them significant. First of all they perform roles as important links of hinterlands to points overseas. In fact, it is usually agreed that countries without ports are lacking a vital necessity. Furthermore, countries also require inner linkages, like links to other ports, airport and railway connections if they are to perform their role efficiently. Ports they said, after all, are part of the mass transportation system.
|China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)|
|Project Title||Executing Agency|
|Construction of East-Bay Expressway, Gwadar Port||GPA|
|Construction of Breakwaters, Gwadar Port||GPA|
|Dredging of Berthing Areas & Channels, Gwadar Port||GPA|
|Pak-China Technical & Vocational Institute||GPA|
|Infrastructure Development for Free Zone & EPZs, Gwadar||EPZA & GIEDA|
|Necessary Facilities of Fresh Water Treatment, Water Supply||GDA|
|China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital (Up-gradation of existing 50 bedded hospital||GDA|
|Coal-based Power Plant at Gwadar||Min of Water & Power|
|Construction of Gwadar International Airport||CAA|
|Note: During 2013-14, Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) has been part of all planning and appraisal processes of CPEC programme. For the early harvest / prioritized phase, following projects related to Gwadar Port & Port City of Gwadar have been agreed. These are in different stages of project preparation:|
Secondly, sea conveyance is the cheapest way of transportation when considered in terms of fuel consumption and investment. During the past few eras the world has become increasingly environmentally conscious and, with its lower energy consumption, marine transportation is obviously more environmentally friendly than other means currently countries enjoying the greatest shares of world-wide trade have both strong sea way linkages and strong merchant marine fleets.
In Pakistan, Gwadar Port is the Port on the southwestern Arabian Sea Coastline in Balochistan province. The ministry revealed in the economic survey FY2019 that the port has handled last year approximately 7.156 metric ton cargo from 53 ships. The Chinese Operator is working on increasing the number of ship calls at the port. Two ship-liners (COSCO & Sino-Trans) are calling regularly at the port. From 7th March, 2018 weekly container service has been started by COSCO. The government officials also urged in the statement that the present government has inked a concession contract with Singapore Port Authority International (PSAI) during 2007. But there was no considerable progress till 2013. During 2013, the port’s Concessional Rights were transferred to the new operator, viz China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited (COPHCL). Since the concessions were handed-over to COPHCL, it has been working on enhancing port facilities, surrounding environment and port businesses.
Statistics showed that the port operator had invested greater than $40 million for port facilities up-gradation. This is now completely operational and receiving commercial vessels on regular basis since March 2018. Gwadar Port is the second greatest monument of Pak-China friendship after Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan and China. The Port is about 630 km away from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. It is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, outside the Strait of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf.
Free zone process
In the economic survey FY2019, statistics also showed that the construction of Free Zone Phase-I has been completed with all infrastructures, counting water, power, road, telecommunication, waste treatment, drainage systems are now in operation. Greater than 30 enterprises, involving the fields of banks, hotels, insurance, fishery products processing, financial leasing, warehouses, edible oil processing, pipe, furniture manufacturing, electric vehicle assembly, trade and logistics, have already been registered in Free Zone. Total 3 companies have completed the construction such as M/s China Communication Construction Company (Business Center), M/s Linyi Trade City (Exhibition Center) and M/s Yulin Company (Steel Tube Industry). Two companies have started the construction, namely as M/s Delight Food Industries (Extraction of edible oil) and M/s HK Sons (copper recycling & processing). However, despite the completion of their units these companies will not be able to start the operations in the absence of Free Zone rules and policy. They are unable to import raw materials because of non-availability of Free Zone incentives for businesses to be organized in Gwadar Free Zone. It is also expected that work on the main Free Zone on 2,220 acres of land will be started shortly for which China Port Holding Company (COPHC) has completed the master planning and feasibility work.