Gwadar, Pakistan’s southernmost coastal city, has great potential for becoming a major trade hub in the region. To develop it into a major port for international trade, the Pakistani and Chinese governments are working hard to convert this small fishing town into a dynamic trading center.
Under the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), China has invested about $700 million in Gwadar to develop airports, trading zones, and better roads in the area. There is one particular project that is set to increase the commercial activities in the city: Marine Drive Gwadar.
Located in the province of Balochistan, this project is vital in connecting the area to the main business centres of the city. Marine Drive was completed in 2020 and, since then, it has created several investment opportunities in the port city.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, shares a comprehensive guide to Gwadar Marine Drive, and why it is important for increasing commercial activities in the city.
Despite the fact that various CPEC projects are being developed, the Beijing administration is largely relying on the Gwadar Port project. The fact that China converted a 230-million-dollar loan into a grant as part of the construction of Gwadar Airport in 2015 indicates the strength of this relationship.
Furthermore, China has transformed a $140 million loan for a highway project linking Gwadar to Pakistan’s coastline route into an interest-free loan.
Gwadar Port: Overview
Gwadar Port holds a lot of significance in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This port in Gwadar will be the third commercial port, with Karachi and Qasim being the other significant seaports in the country.
Inaugurated in 2016 under the CPEC framework, Gwadar Port is considered one of the central trade hubs for China’s economic links with North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Under the CPEC Plan, the Chinese state-owned company China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) will manage all the operations of the port. However, the company is contracted to receive 90% revenue of the port.
In May 2021, the Gwadar Port became fully operational with the delivery of various goods arriving at the port.
The port is now operational to a limited extent. Some of the projects, like the free economic zone, have already been completed.
The port was formally launched on November 13, 2016, as part of the wider CPEC, with supplies from Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang arriving at the port on November 12. The event was significant as a batch of 120 truckloads of commodities were sent to Africa on a Chinese ship.
This marked the first use of the Gwadar Port’s facilities. Since then, it has grown in strategic importance as it aims to help manage the international trade that passes through the Strait of Hormuz.
Significance of Gwadar for Pakistan and China
Gwadar is seen as a solution to the country’s underdeveloped Balochistan province. Gwadar’s port will relieve pressure on the Karachi Port.
This will also increase Pakistan’s significance in the Indian Ocean region – ultimately boosting Pakistan’s standing in the international community.
Meanwhile, Gwadar holds a lot of strategic importance for China. Because it decreases the transit time and distance for its commerce with Africa and West Asia.
Along with this, it can help in utilising the port to increase its military presence in Djibouti.
Marine Drive Gwadar: Location
Gwadar Marine Drive is a two-way road that is located along the beautiful Gwadar beach. This 26-kilometre-long road is one of the most crucial projects under CPEC.
This road has reduced the travel time to the main business centre of the city. Before the construction of this road, it took around 1 hour to reach, but now it only takes minutes.
If you want to visit the Marine Drive then you can travel from the Makran Coastal Highway (N-10) in Karachi.
Importance of Marine Drive, Gwadar
The Marine Drive holds a lot of importance for promoting commercial activities in the port city of Gwadar. After the construction of this road, investment opportunities in the area have significantly increased.
Furthermore, the better connectivity with the main business centre has led to the construction of the first-ever man-made island of Pakistan, named “Chand-Taara”.
This joint venture between the GOP and Chinese Communications Construction Company is worth over $10 billion. On this island, there will be a residential area with a central business area.
The shape of this island will represent the moon and star on the national flag. Gwadar Port Authority and Chinese Communications Construction Company have developed a master plan for the island.
According to the master plan, the island will have an amusement park, museum, 5-star hotels and various shopping malls. With these facilities, Gwadar is set to become the next economic hub of South Asia.
These economic activities will also create more employment opportunities, which will help in resolving the job crisis in Balochistan. Thus, these development projects are significant for improving the lives of the people in the area.
Currently, there are various real estate investment opportunities available near Marine Drive. Moreover, the Pakistani government is looking to introduce even more investment options in different sectors.
According to the master plan, it will have residential areas that will have beautiful views of the beach. The Gwadar Port Authority has set a price range for several real estate properties in the area, with the average price set in the range of PKR 1.5 to 4 crore.
If you’re interested in investing in the area, you can contact the authorities in Gwadar. They will give you complete details about these investment opportunities. This is a great time to invest in this area as prices of real estate in the area are expected to increase significantly soon.
Gwadar Port is important in establishing commercial channels along the coast of the Arabian Sea. The Chinese government has indeed proclaimed its willingness to invest millions of dollars in order to boost Pakistan’s economy.
Furthermore, with construction projects like Gwadar Marine Drive, economic activities will certainly improve in this important port city of Pakistan.
To know more about investment opportunities in Gwadar, visit the Graana blog.