LAHORE: Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) Director General Mujeeb Ur Rehman Qambrani said Gwadar Port will be a shining pearl in the whole region as the largest international airport in Gwadar will be operational next year in September 2023 to connect in major cities in Pakistan and around the world.
During a presentation to the business community in the provincial capital of Punjab, held here at a local hotel, the CEO of GDA said that the seaport is preparing to anchor mother ships of up to 70,000 metric tons. He announced that Gwadar will now be connected to the national grid by the end of next year as a 100MW electricity supply agreement has been signed in this regard to reduce the city’s dependence on supply in electricity from Iran.
Additionally, the 300 MW coal-fired power plant is also under construction to meet the immediate power needs of this coastal city. He revealed that the GDA was going to organize a major investment conference in Gwadar to attract new investment in the manufacturing sector in the region.
The Managing Director of GDA has informed the businessmen that a chain of International Sea Food is launching in the kaleidoscopic waters of West Bay in Gwadar, turning this site into a major tourist attraction. He revealed in his presentation that a dispute resolution committee has also been formed to respond to the grievances of new recipients in this area.
In the presentation, Mujeeb Qambrani detailed the various other mega activities in Gwadar and glimpsed the future of the future geostrategic energy, trade and logistics corridor to center 70% of the world.
With a view to interacting closely with the business community in the hinterland, Mujeeb Qambrani visited major industry associations in Lahore, textile bodies, auto parts manufacturers, chambers and representatives of trade bodies including Pakistan Industrial & Traders Associations Front (PIAF), Businessmen Panel (BMP), Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, PAAPAM, Daroghawala Industrial Association, Sunder Industrial Estate and members of the Transportation Association. GDA CEO also participated in the Pakistan Auto Show 2022 which was held recently with a view to liaising with the investors, who had never been to Gwadar to convince them to install the units industries in the coastal city.
Mujeeb Qambrani said Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo while sensing Gwadar’s essentialness looked on, trying to dust his face. He said Gwadar has always revolved around real estate since 2003 and was less focused on key areas of the economy such as industry, business and tourism, now our provincial government, under the leadership of the minister in Balochistan leader Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, is paying due attention to making it a manufacturing hub. He said two new dams and desalination plants have been put in place to meet the water needs of the city, which previously faced water scarcity.
He said that Balochistan is the least developed province of Pakistan. Climate change is having disastrous effects on the province. Along with this, people, living in various regions, do not have access to drinking water. In such a situation, desalination plants could be a feasible option not only in Gawadar but also across the province.
For commercial and industrial activities, Gwadar enjoyed a tax holiday; and a special economic zone to remove hierarchy and introduced the flat management system to blur decision-making. Everything is in place to open a one-stop shop for investors.
He reiterated that the whole country attaches great importance to the development of Gwadar Port, which would become a shining pearl of the region.
He said Gwadar will enjoy a bright future with the development of port industries, building export processing zones. By developing the port, the city will be developed as a whole, becoming a benchmark for harmonious development, as well as a demonstration window for the success of the Belt and Road.
He appreciated the efforts made by the armed forces in safeguarding CPEC projects, pointing out that security is the premise of everything.
The businessmen, while participating in the presentation, said that Gwadar is the hub of CEPC, which could lead the country out of economic crises.
Unfortunately, Gwadar had to deal with numerous podium finishes which halted his journey. Trade and industry representatives assured that they are willing to start their new businesses in the port city if the government of Balochistan can control the law and order situation, facilitate business, eradicate land disputes and start infrastructure development on a fast track.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022