New trade route via Gwadar port inaugurated in Pakistan

Nov 15, 2016 17:12 IST

Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, on 13 November 2016 inaugurated the operational activities of the strategic Gwadar Port, located in the south-western Balochistan Province.

Sharif and General Raheel Sharif, Army Chief of Pakistan, welcomed the first large shipment of Chinese goods through the port.

The deep-water port is the key to the 46 billion US dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that also includes roads and energy projects.

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How CPEC will benefit Pakistan?

It is predicted by the Pakistani officials that the project will result in the creation of upwards of 700000 direct jobs between 2015 and 2030.

It will also add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country's annual economic growth.

If all the planned projects are implemented, the value of those projects would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970. They would also be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan's 2015 gross domestic product.

Infrastructure projects under the aegis of CPEC will eventually link the city of Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan to China's northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways.

Why India is concerned?

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through the disputed region of Kashmir. However, no CPEC project is located near the Line of Control.

In 2015, the Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj reportedly told Chinese President Xi Jinping that projects passing through Gilgit-Baltistan are unacceptable as they require construction in the claimed territory.

Also Read: Chabahar Port Deal: How India gains from it?

About Gwadar port

The Gwadar Port is a warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan.

The port features notably in the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor plan.

The port is considered to be a vital link between the ambitious One Belt, One Road and Maritime Silk Road projects.

The port’s potential to be a deep water sea port was first noted in 1954.

Plan for construction of the port were not realised until 2007, when the port was inaugurated by Parvez Musharraf after four years of construction, at a cost of 248 million US dollars.

In 2015, it was announced that the city and port would be further developed under CPEC at a cost of 1.62 billion US dollars.

The port will also be the site of a floating liquefied natural gas facility that will be built as part of the larger 2.5 billion US dollar Gwadar-Nawabshah segment of the Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline project.

In late 2015, the port was officially leased to China for 43 years, until 2059.

About China–Pakistan Economic Corridor

The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor is an under-construction and partly completed economic corridor.

It aims to facilitate trade along an overland route that connects Kashgar and Gwadar through construction of network of highways, railways and pipelines worth around 51 billion US dollar.

The corridor is considered to be an extension of China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative.

CPEC’s significance to China is reflected by its inclusion in the country’s 13th five-year development plan.

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