On July 5, Premier Imran Khan made a visit to Gwadar where he inaugurated phase one of Gwadar Free Zone (GFZ) (60 acres) and performed the ground breaking of phase 2 (2,200 acres!).
Making Gwadar an industrial center
As mentioned by Primer Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan needs to focus more on exports, and Gwadar may become a major industrial center in Pakistan thanks to local entrepreneurs and foreign investors. During his visit, four industrial projects were unveiled: Gwadar Fertiliser Plant, Gwadar Animal Vaccine Plant, Henan Agricultural Industrial Park and Hengmei Lubricants Plant. Those new factories will create more opportunities for local companies.
In addition to those megaprojects, a Gwadar Expo Centre is also going to be constructed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan confirmed the development policies to be conducted in Balochistan, a region where poverty is still important. Gwadar still suffers from a lack of infrastructure for its development. Water scarcity is a major issue in Gwadar and the whole Balochistan region; the city will need more water resources as it is getting bigger. To address this issue, a 1.2 million gallons per day desalination plant is to be built. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the government of China and South Balochistan regarding the donation of solar generators, that will help reducing power outages.
Prime Minister Khan also announced specific measures to reduce poverty and promote development. Some programs and loans will be offered to local farmers and fishermen and a hospital will be constructed. Education is another priority in Gwadar with the planned opening of a vocational college and a university. Those institutions will give some job opportunities to local youth.
Chinese and international investors to Gwadar
The development of Gwadar is mostly the result of the CPEC; with the assistance of China, Pakistan can transform the southern port of Gwadar into a regional hub. Imran Khan thanked China for their support.
In addition to China, seven other foreign countries: Egypt, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, represented by their ambassadors expressed their intention to invest in Balochistan.
Although Prime Minister Khan felt concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and its possible impacts on the relations between central Asia Pakistan, he showed great confidence in the success of Gwadar.