Gwadar Port to handle 300-400m-ton load of goods annually: Chinese report

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Shahrukh Syed

Islamabad—The Gwadar Port after coming into stream will start handle the 300-400 million tons of load of goods to be traded annually playing as a catalyst in stimulating the economy of country which is slowly growing 2-3.5 per cent for many years, reveals a Chinese report.
The port is currently handling half a million tons of load that will surge up to one million next year.
According to eminent economist of the country Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Principal and Dean of School of Economics, NUST, Islamabad while mentioning the salient features of Chinese report here in a National Conference on CPEC: Marco and Mirco Economic Dividends held here on Tuesday told that the Gwadar port will alone on its completion start handling the 300-400 million tones of load of goods whereas all the ports of India have the current combined capacity of handling 500 million tones of goods a year.
The CEPEC project with Gwadar port will handle the big economies of $4-5 trillion of western part of China, Pakistan’s $300 billion economy along with a bunch of economies of CAS (Central Asian States) and under this scenario CPEC corridor will be termed as international economic corridor meaning by that Pakistan will be part of the international economic activities. And in case Iran which has manifested its interest to become part of CPEC even in the presence of its own Chabahar Port, then this project will become a part of not only economic integration of regional but international economies.
Khan said that Gwadar port along with roads network will not only change the face of Balochistan in particular, but will also bring new wave of development across the country in general.
He said that there is no doubt that CPEC project carries paramount importance and it is really beneficial and may change the face of the country provided Pakistan successfully copes with the capacity constraints and ensures the transparency in agreements of all the projects under CPEC umbrella.
According to one estimate, CPEC is expected to enhance the economic growth at least by two percentage point by 2020 and an additional 1.5 percentage point by 2030. Higher economic growth will create additional jobs in the range of 1.5-2 million per annum that will increase per capita income and tax revenue.
Dr Salman Shah, former finance minister of Pakistan and Chairman of Pakistan Centre for Economic Cooperation said the economic integration of China and Pakistan is the key to make CPEC a game changer highlighting the grey areas which if get corrected will make it a success story.
Dr Shah said that that it is an economic imperative for China and Pakistan to increase and fortify their economic integration as the basis of increasing their regional economic power and to face the competition presented by other regional blocs. “Our goal should be to transform Pakistan’s pivotal geography and its strategic relationship with China into a sustainable process of economic integration between the two countries and leading ultimately to a huge trading bloc encompassing Africa, Middle East, West Asia, Central Asia, Pakistan, China and Russia.”
Shah said that Zhu Rangji, former prime minister of china and great strategic mind of china laid the foundation stone of Gwadar along with the then President of Pakistan General (retired) Pervez Musharraf. “His view was that every super power has access to the sea on all sides of its borders like the USA has an east coast and west coast. For China Pakistan is west coast. “This means Pakistan economically can be to China what California is to the USA,” Dr Shah argues.