ISLAMABAD: The Gwadar port project can serve as a key to economic development of the country and drastically improve the lives of the people of Balochistan if its potential is exploited to bolster trade in the region, said Standing Committee Gwadar Promotion and Development Chairman Colonel (Retd) Maqbool Afridi.
The official believed that the natural resources of Africa can be easily shipped to Gwadar and, after value addition, can be reshipped to the global consumer’s markets. “The Gwadar project has the potential to give boost to the present crippled economy of the country in a short span of time,” said Afridi. “Due to its geostrategic location, the Central Asian Republics (CARS) have a short route to world markets and at the same time the developed countries have an easy access to the CARS’ natural resources.”
According to Afridi, the port is well poised to conduct transshipment as well as transit trade, adding that Dubai is earning billions of dollars yearly from transshipment which is 700 km ahead of Gwadar and has to pass through Strait of Hormuz which is a restricted ship movement.
“For transshipment and transit trade there is not a single county which is not dependent on Dubai, Iran, Oman or Pakistan.” He said Gwadar is a natural deep sea port, different from neighboring ports of Iran and Dubai and has the capacity to have 88 berths and the ability to anchor ships of 1,00,000 to 2,00,000 dead weight tonnage.
“The business and job opportunities created enroute from south (Gwadar) till north (Kunjrab) will benefit all provinces of the country immensely.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2014.
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