The Gwadar Port Authority has completed land acquisition process for free zone (FZ) and its execution is expected to start soon.
The funds for acquisition of land to be handed over to concession holder for establishment of FZ has been provided through Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) as with FZ development the port throughout in trans-shipments, export and import will enhance significantly.
The same time the company is going to establish a large exhibition centre adjacent to Port for display of Chinese and Pakistani products. This would be the first Zone in Pakistan, spread over an area of 9.23 sq km, adjacent to the port.
According to a budget document, Gwadar port offers lots of opportunities to prospective investors. Chinese investors have taken keen interest in establishing Marine Silk Route and establishment of heavy industries in the industrial zone.
In this regard, banks from China and Pakistan are working on concept of development of Special Economic Zones in Punjab and Balochistan and the investors, especially the Chinese, are planning to establish a steel mill and a cement factory in Gwadar.
Moreover, under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Gwadar Port is said to be strategically important to China because it will bring closer Middle Eastern ports to China through Karakoram Highway (KKH) linking Gwadar with Kashgar.
Under CPEC, Gwadar Port is considered as gateway of CPEC, and Gwadar city as one of the pivotal cities of the corridor.
The first special economic zone (SEZ) of CPEC is being developed in Gwadar city. The government-to-government CPEC agreements have created bright prospects for optimum operationalisation of Gwadar Port and harnessing the benefits of regional trade connectivity through this naturally deep-sea port by Pakistan, China, Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan.
To resolve the port connectivity with the highway network, “Gwadar Port Eastbay Expressway” project has now been agreed upon for funding under CPEC. The project has been approved by ECNEC at an estimated cost of Rs.14 billion and its execution has been started.
The proposed expressway will connect the Gwadar Port with the Mekran Coastal Highway, passing along the east bay of Gwadar City, with a total length of 18.98 Km, including 4.3 Km along -the-shore/off-shore and 14.6 Km on -shore sections. A rail link along this expressway is also part of the project.