INTERVIEW: COL.(R) F. MAQBOOL AFRIDI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE GWADAR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES (Pvt) Limited.

Gwadar Is So Strong Economically That It Can Sustain All Political Shocks

AMANULLAH BASHAR
Nov 12 - 18, 2007

PAGE: The development in Gwadar was the talking point and the newly developed city port was in the headlines a few months back, why the economically significant project has gone in the background these days?

FMA: This is not correct to say that the Gwadar development has gone in the background. Presently road network is being developed by GDA. It is one of the viable projects of the county, which is going to be operational at the start of the next year. The development work may be slow but the concerned authorities are undertaking the development work.

PAGE: What are the current status of development and the interest of the investors in Gwadar?

FMA: development pace at Gwadar is still at reasonable pace. Around more than 102 projects (Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Recreational and Building Project) have already been launched in Gwadar. The Gwadar is at developing stage so the current development work has not shown its impact. Moreover lot of Development has to be undertaken which requires colossal finances.

As far as the interest of investors is concerned, investors always see the future of their investment and they known better that the temporary slum of market won't diminish the prosperous future of Gwadar. They have a firm believe that from the day when Gwadar Port becomes operational their investment will be multiplied in the form of profit/return.

PAGE: What measures and steps you would suggest for keeping up the pace of development in Gwadar?

FMA: I m sure if following measures and steps would be taken than the pace of the Gwadar development will be t its peak or extreme:

--There must be an integrated marketing policy in order to attract both Pakistani and International investors.

--We must have specialists whether Pakistanis or foreigners to develop Gwadar.

PAGE: How do you foresee the future of Gwadar especially in the backdrop of any political change in the country?

FMA: The importance of Gwadar is still there whether the same government carries on or any new set up comes in. Gwadar is not such type of project, which diminishes, with any change of political scenario.

PAGE: Don't you think that the tense political situation in the region would adversely affect the process of growth and development in Gwadar?

FMA: political situation always affect the development progress but in Gwadar case it won't adversely affect the process of growth and development. Being the viable project international attention is presently focused on Gwadar and all international political power wants Gwadar to develop. Gwadar has assumed an international image. Gwadar has all the potential to serve as an alternate to Gulf orts. The economic epicenter now revolves round and round Gwadar. The epicenter has all the natural pulls and potential of converting the "Dream into reality".

PAGE: What remedial measures you would suggest to enhance the pace of development in Gwadar?

FMA: We need to create dedicated and harmonized teams from all over Pakistan with vision and capacity to implement the required projects/process on ground in all fields of development.

PAGE: Your comments on overall real estate industry in Pakistan, people say that activity in real estate has either slowed down or come to a static condition, what are the factors behind the situation?

FMA: It is a natural phenomenon that every sector of the country relates to its economy. If the economy of the country shows the positive trends every sector will improve and vice versa. In Pakistan due to stable and positive trend of economy with reasonable foreign reserves, the real state market is moving ahead at normal pace. Universally real estate has the tendency to go up and come down.

PAGE: Do you feel that increasing interest rates have anything to do with the development real estate in the country?

FMA: As per my knowledge the State Bank of Pakistan has the policy not to lend money for real estate.

PAGE: What do you think of Gwadar's future?

FMA: Gwadar has a prosperous future and any investment made shall turn into a profitable return in immediate future.

PAGE: What are the potentials of Gwadar?

FMA: Actually Gwadar has much potential especially because of its geographical location. Moreover every type of trade and business will flourish. The main potentials are for the time being is real estate, construction, trade and business etc.

PAGE: What are the investment opportunities in Gwadar?

FMA: These days real estate is at boom and the prices are very low i.e. why it is buyers market. It is assumed that once the port is fully operational the prices will go very high, as foreign investors/ FDI will start purchasing the land in Gwadar.

PAGE: What do you think of Gwadar future?

FMA: Gwadar has a prosperous future and any investment made shall turn into a profitable return in immediate future.

PAGE: What are the potentials of Gwadar?

FMA: It has many potential especially because of its geographical location. Moreover every type of trade and business will flourish. The main potential are for time being is real estate, construction, trade and business etc.

PAGE: What are the investment opportunities in Gwadar?

FMA: These days real estate is at boom and the prices are very low i.e. it is buyers market. It is assumed that once the port is operational the prices will go very high as foreign investors / FDI will start purchasing the land.