According to Chairman CPEC Authority Lt. Gen., Asim Saleem Bajwa, Gwadar is becoming more attractive to Gulf-based companies. Investors from China, Pakistan, the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia are looking for opportunities in Gwadar Free Zone. Saudi companies are particularly involved in the oil industry in Gwadar with the construction of a refinery, the CPEC port is to become a major regional energy hub. Oman is also investing in Gwadar’s new airport.
In July 2020, Qatari Ambassador Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrehman bin Faisal Al-Thani stated that Qatar was also interested in investing in Gwadar port.
Gwadar has maintained strong relations with Arabia for centuries, the development of the CPEC will strengthen these ties.
Gwadar will soon become the gateway not only to the Pakistani market but to the whole Central Asian region, including Afghanistan. In late July 2020, a first transit consignment of bulk cargo from the UAE to Afghanistan passed through Gwadar.
Furthremore, a new railways line would soon connect Gwadar to Chabahar in Iran. According to Iran Ambassador to Pakistan Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, there is no competition between the two ports, but complementarity. Better connectivity between Gwadar and Chabahar will serve regional stability and development.
Gwadar shares some strong cultural and historic relations with the Gulf region; the Pakistani port can take the best from Gulf cities such as Dubai and Chinese SEZs like Shenzhen to become a regional innovative hub.