Research Assistant NCMPR
Gulf countries will be the biggest beneficiaries of the Pak China Economic Corridor (PCEC) linking Kashgar and Gwadar Port through Pakistan. The Chinese Govt. resolve to invest over 40 Billion Dollars in the development of the linkage and in the Gwadar port, will shorten the transit distance of Chinese products to gulf countries from 12000 km to 3000 km. As the trade develops through PCEC, the quantum of manufactured goods (from Gulf), oil and gas (from neighbouring Iran) etc will jump substantially. The service sector in Pakistan will benefit a lot as the trade flows through PCEC. The return on investments can accrue quickly if the trade takes the existing route Kashgar – Sost Dry Port in Pakistan – Gwadar Port. The Pakistan’s connectivity with Kashgar through the Khunjrab pass is usable during the coming summer season.
A lot of activities and revenue will be generated due to call of ships at Gwadar Port, including port charges, the transshipment of containers, the handling of the containers on the terminal, carrying of containers by feeder vessels in the gulf, increase in support services to these ships, increase in demand for infrastructural development for terminals and quays etc. It is normal for ships to request and pay for additional services while in port, including stores, repairs, surveys, supplies of spare parts and transport services. The 3PL Service Providers based in the Gulf will find the Gwadar potential very lucrative and are starting to invest in establishing their offices in Gwadar.
Greater economic growth in Pakistan is resulting in greater UAE investment in many sectors including export-oriented industry, IT and software. The economies of the Gulf states will be benefitting by the increase in the trade volume and huge savings in freight. The Free Trade Zone (FTZ) being developed by the China Over Seas Port Holding Company (COPHC) at Gwadar is the dream come true for Gwadar and Baluchistan people and a big opportunity for Gulf based industries to diversify their assets, seize the opportunity and invest in Gwadar FTZ.
Dubai’s biggest non-oil trade partner is China with around $50 Billion trade annually. This can increase greatly if foreign direct investments are made by UAE based companies in Gwadar FTZ.
Gwadar is not competing with Dubai, but it is providing Dubai based companies to invest in Gwadar FTZ and market the products in the Gulf. Within UAE there are several ports but they are not competing each other. They all are complementing to the flow of trade, each port has its own dynamics and they supplement each other in productivity and shipping.
923 hectares of land of Free Zone has been allocated to China Overseas Port Holding Company. There is freedom of operation and freedom of remittances and tax exemptions.
Gwadar is providing investment opportunities in Balochistan and turning them into sustainable economic activities. Invest in Gwadar as it is not just a port, it is a global trade opportunity.