The success of Gwadar port largely depends on its transportation networks. To be efficient and attract national and foreign companies, Gwadar has to be connected with Pakistani and neighbour cities.
The Gwadar East Bay Expressway
A major weakness was the poor connection between the port and the national road network. Trucks must drive through a very narrow road from Gwadar town to the port. This will no longer be the case as 80 percent work on the Gwadar East Bay Expressway had been completed. Soon, trucks will drive from the port to the special economic zones and the national highway network on a 6-lane expressway. The road will be completed by December 2020.
New ferry routes to be launched
In addition to this expressway, new passenger ferry services may soon operate from Gwadar.
In early September, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs proposed the creation of ferry routes that would connect Pakistan’s main ports: Karachi, Port Qasim and Gwadar to foreign cities including, Muscat in Oman, Dubai in the UAE, Bandar Abbas in Iran and Basra in Iraq. New ferry routes would greatly increase regional connectivity in Gwadar and develop person-to-person relations between Gwadar and neighbour countries. Although, ferry services are not as quick and convenient as airline routes, these new connections may create long term exchanges between Gwadar and the Middle East region.
According to governmental officials, this water transportation strategy is inspired by similar ferry services operating in Europe. There may be some potential cooperation between Europe and Pakistan regarding this matter.