ISLAMABAD: With strategic and economic significance, Gwadar is well poised to unleash constructive opportunities for local as well as foreign investment in diverse fields.
Development work and business activities are gaining impetus at a fast pace with the Gwadar site getting transformed into an ideal destination for potential investors.
Gwadar has better potential and investment opportunities. The port has been constructed and recently one ship carrying 60,000 tonnes of wheat has docked. Once this port becomes fully operational, it will have more advantages. Pakistani entrepreneurs along with foreign investors can make joint ventures at Gwadar, which is not only flanked by planned location but is also a vital corridor to rich oil and mineral resources with close immediacy to Central Asian States, observed Chief Executive of Gwadar Business Associates, Col (R) Fazal-e-Maqbool Afridi.
As far as its geographical location is concerned in comparison to the Gulf ports, especially Dubai, it gives more facilities and will handle more cargo and trade because Gwadar is a deep-sea port and is located on a main shipping route. For Dubai, ships have to wait for days for route clearance due to Strait of Hormuz. The landlocked Central Asian States are also dependent on Gwadar, expressed Col Afridi.
China and other countries shall have short route to the world market maintained through Gwadar. The location of Gwadar Deep Sea Port is such that the whole world businesses converge and diverges at this place.
The whole region can also avail trans-shipment facility as the transit cargo (liquid and dry both) can easily be undertaken from Gwadar and transported to any part of the world in short span of time in comparison to other ports, he viewed. Due to trans-shipment there will be lots of requirements of warehousing and container yards, he stated adding, being a deep sea port on a main shipping route it will facilitate the movement of cargo.
The trade and business activities of all kinds and quantity, from needle to ship, will also flourish at Gwadar irrespective of the cost. Import and export of all items and magnitude is possible, because the means of transportation like sea, road, railway line (in near future) are available and linked with all important countries, he maintained.
Being a deep sea port and facilities for transportation available, industry of any kind is feasible, both of raw materials and finished products, the chief executive said continuing, the mineral deposits of Central Asia have no shorter route to transport them to the world markets, than Gwadar.
Similarly, the developed world can also reap these benefits only from Gwadar.
The transport industry will have to import all kinds of vehicles, especially heavy ones for fast delivering of goods at remote destinations as well as in the city limits. Gwadar Port will also be termed as an energy port. The gas and oil deposit of CIS will find their new storage destination in Gwadar because of its natural flow direction. Even Iran can benefit from Gwadar by having opening to the world market for its gas and oil.
The Pacific states and all those countries which are short of energy can easily be supplied Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) from Gwadar. Fishery is one of the most important economic activities in the Gwadar district, in which a vast majority of population is engaged. The district has a 600 kilometres long coast line which provides residents not only the means of income but also the food to subsist.
About one fourth of the total catch of different varieties in Pakistan is found in district Gwadar. On an annual basis there is potential for an additional catch of at least thousands of tonnes. Real-estate is a vibrant industry, he observed adding, there are plenty of chances available starting from construction as every thing new has to be developed and built. It has lot of potential for prices to rise and any investment made will fetch a handsome amount for investors.
The construction industry will also have a boom at Gwadar as there is a dearth of place to live or open an office. Every thing new has to be constructed.
Manufacturing industries will develop, especially automobile, steel re-rolling mills, ship building, refineries, fertiliser and electronic industry, he added.
Source: The News, 10th January, 2009