A beginning of economic activity in the so far
April 01 - 07, 2002
After the epoch making event of Chaghi in 1988, the
province of Balochistan has once again in the limelight this time with
an economic bombshell in the shape of "Gawadar deep sea
port" surrounded by panoramic mountains and Balochistan blue and
green waters of the Arabian Sea.
The project is going to serve as a trade hub for
shipment of cargo from and to Northern and Western Pakistan, China,
Iran and Afghanistan and will be a gateway of trade for the Central
Asian Republics (CARs).
President Pervez Musharraf, while performing
groundbreaking of Gawadar Port foresees that the economic activity
generated by the port will bring a glorious future for the people of
Balochistan as well as Pakistan. The project is being built by China
Harbour Engineering Company at a cost of $184 million of which
Pakistan will provide $50 million is building the port.
Notwithstanding, the ground breaking of this
project took place in 2002. The idea of developing Gawadar as an
economic zone along with a deep-sea port was conceived by Shaikh
Javaid some 20 years ago when he was the chairman of Pakistan Shippers
Council. During the course of time he visited Gawadar several times
and tried to convince the business community to develop a free trade
zone in Gawadar which has the potential to be a gateway to the Central
Asian States, Gulf States and also a corridor to the west. Shaikh
Javaid must be the happiest man on the earth as his dreams come true
on the occasion of groundbreaking ceremony. He got the opportunity to
witness the history-making event as the official representative of the
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). His
time consuming and sincere devotion to see the development of Gawadar
as an economic giant in this region certainly makes him fit to be
called as "Bab-e-Gawadar".
The construction of the first phase, which consists
of three-multi-purpose berths to receive ships of 50,000 DWT is to be
completed in three years.
The second phase envisages construction of ten
berths including two dedicated container terminals, a bulk grain
terminal with 100,000 DWT capacity and two oil terminals to receive
ships of 200,000 DWT.
The construction of first commercial port at Makran
Coast is of vital significance for the development of trade relations
with the Central Asian States. It will receive cargo through mother
vessels and will transport the same at cost effective rates to the
land locked countries through feeder vessels. The port with its allied
rail road links will make it a trade gateway for the CARs.
Situated at the junction of traditional trade
routes and opposite Strait of Hormuz the Gawadar port will provide
most modern shipment facilities to import and export from Northern
Areas and Balochistan.
The coastal highway now under construction will
also link Gawadar Port with the Karachi Port thus generating a hectic
cycle of trade activities.
The President described the region as a funnel with
CARs on the top with Afghanistan and Pakistan on sides and Gawadar at
the narrow end of the funnel. This port will provide inlet and outlets
to all cargoes originating from and to these countries.
Speaking on the occasion President Mushrraf has
said that today is the history making day not only for Pakistan China
friendship but also for the development of this province. We are
gathered here for ground breaking of the first commercial port on
Makran Coast and added that the port had been planned many years ago
but the present government got the credit to taking this project in
The project would have not been possible without
the financial technical assistance of China and without the personal
interest shown by the Chinese Prime Minister Zorangi. Both the Chinese
and Pakistani engineers by dint of hard work carried out the
feasibility and technical studies and prepared designs of the Port
within 30 days.
There is also a plan to set up an industrial zone
and an export processing zone at the hinterland of the Port which
would offer investment opportunities as well as job outlets to the
people of the under developed province of Balochistan.
Since the project is being developed in the so far
neglected area of Balochistan, the project will open new doors of
opportunities for the local people. The government has decided to set
up a technical training centre at Gawadar to prepare the local people
take up jobs created with the development.
Keeping in view the bitter experience of Karachi
Export Processing Zone which miserably failed to take off even after
two decades of its inception, Iftikhar Malik, President of the FPCCI
has strongly recommended that the Private sector should be taken into
confidence to run the proposed export processing zone at Gawadar.
FPCCI can provide all sort of support in making the zone a success, he