Gwadar, a challenge for stakeholders to develop as successful economic city

Gwadar port is the flagship project of CPEC as all economic activities practically converge at the port

ISLAMABAD: Gwadar district, the significant part of gigantic China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, is a challenge for the stakeholders to develop it as a successful new economic city.

Addressing a seminar on “the international and urban design of Gwadar city”, an expert consultant in Ministry of Finance, Naveed Iftikhar presented his findings in a detailed research on Gwadar a key component of CPEC.

He said the stakeholders do not merely set up Gwadar as a port, rather they term it an economic city. It is the 9th largest district of the country in terms of area with over a population of 100,000 in the city, he added.

“Every local activity is linked with port while its development is linked with the city’s prosperity”, he said. There are numerous precedents in the world where new economic cities have proved to be a failure as they are globally considered as start-ups.

 

Gwadar port is the flagship project of CPEC as all economic activities practically converge at the port, he remarked.

He said that strong administration and governance would help to overcome the prevailing incompetence at the part of public institutions, he added.

He lamented that public authorities were efficiently working on the port while no work was done for the uplift of the city.

He suggested that the government should introduce unique administrative systems and strategies to cope with the daunting task of proficient handling of massive trade bulge in the region.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Amer Zafar Durrani said Gwadar as a growing city, requires a well-organized governance plan while the government should visit the port and take pre-emptive measures to remove redundant government structure.

He suggested that the government should procure the entire land in Gwadar and lease it as per law for 33 years to turn down the speculated and self-proclaimed real estate activities.

A council, he said, should be formed without any delay with all concerned on board to make the mega project a success.

Associate Professor International Relations, Bahria University, Adam Saud said, there is no doubt in the fact that Gwadar needs clarity of governance as it is important for the country’s future.

Saud said Chabahar and Gwadar are thought to be competitors, however, in future, both of them would complement each other contributing to explore broader outlook of the Chinese Belt Road Initiative (BRI).

The stability in Afghanistan and Balochistan are of utmost importance to get central Asian states, Russia, Iran and other regional players to benefit the CPEC project.

“It is evident that no development can be assumed without enhanced infrastructure as in Pakistan transportation infrastructure needs improvement”, he said.

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