GWADAR PORT: AN ECONOMIC HUB OR A MILITARY OUTPOST
Keywords:Gwadar, land Locked, Trade Corridor, Saindak, Regional Hub
The importance of Gwadar Port is manifold. Gwadar is not only going to play critical role in Pakistan’s economy but is also likely to influence other neighboring countries like China, Iran and Central Asia etc. The deep-sea port at Gwadar is visualized as becoming a trade corridor and a regional hub, serving commercial goals in the region. The development of the Gwadar port holds out for the regional countries huge economic returns. A road from Gwadar to Saindak is said to be the shortest route between Central Asia and the sea. Goods, oil and gas reserves from these countries could be shipped to global markets. It will nearly halve the overland distance from China’s landlocked western provinces to the sea: from about4,000km to China’s east coast, to just 2,000 km south to Gwadar. On the other hand, highways connecting it to Afghanistan reduce the distances of Pakistan-Central Asia traffic by about 500 to 1000 km. The paper evaluates the prospects of trade and their economic benefits through Gwadar Port. The envisaged trade forecast of Gwadar Port is based on the potential transit cargo of Western China, Afghanistan and Central Asia. The development of industries, trade and business in adjoining areas are some of the spins-offs of the ports, which necessitate suitable policies to accumulate maximum benefits. Indeed, the construction of the Gwadar port is a vital component of Pakistan’s overall initiative to facilitate trade in the region and particularly with the landlocked states of Central Asia.
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