Gwadar Port (Urdu: گوادر بندرگاه ; IPA: gʷɑːd̪əɾ bənd̪əɾgɑː) is a warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan. The port features prominently in the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan, and is considered to be a crucial link between the ambitious One Belt, One Road and Maritime Silk Road projects.
CPEC aims to facilitate trade along an overland route that connects Kashgar and Gwadar, through the construction of a network of highways, railways, and pipelines. The corridor is intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure, as well as deepen and broaden economic links between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China. It is considered to be an extension of China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative, and the importance of CPEC to China is reflected by its inclusion as part of China's 13th five-year development plan
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The CPEC project has been divided into phases, the first phase being the completion of Gwadar International Airport and major developments of Gwadar Port. This phase is expected to be completed by the year 2017. The project also includes the expansion of Karakoram Highway- the road that connects China with Pakistan and placement of fiber-optic line ensuring better communication between the two countries.
Gwadar International Airport
If all goes well and on schedule, of the 21 agreements on energy– including gas, coal and solar energy– 14 will be able to provide up to 10,400 megawatts (MW) of energy by March 2018. According to China Daily, these projects would provide up to 16,400 MW of energy altogether.
The CPEC appears to be a very crucial project for both the countries. For China it provides an alternate secure route to import Energy and find new markets for its goods and services. For Pakistan it helps counters Indian influence in the region, position itself as a major transit point connecting Eurasian region with South Asia and South East Asia and provide a much needed base to kick start its economic growth.
Over $33 billion worth of energy infrastructure will be constructed by private consortia to help alleviate Pakistan's chronic energy shortages,7 which regularly amount to over 4,500MW,8 and have shed an estimated 2-2.5% off Pakistan's annual GDP.9With approximately $33 billion expected to be invested in energy sector projects, power generation assumes an important role in the CPEC project. Over 10,400MW of energy generating capacity is to be developed between 2018 and 2020 as part of the corridor's fast-tracked "Early Harvest" projects.1
As part of CPEC, the two countries signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, as well as pledged to "China-Pakistan Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory" The two countries also pledged to establish the "China-Pakistan Joint Marine Research Center" with State Oceanic Administration and Pakistan's Ministry of Science and Technology Also as part of the CPEC agreement, Pakistan and China have agreed to co-operate in the field of space research.
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CPEC is considered economically vital to Pakistan in helping it drive economic growth. The Pakistani media and government have called CPEC investments a "game and fate changer" for the region, while both China and Pakistan intend that the massive investment plan will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub and further boost the deepening ties between the two countries. Approximately 1 year after the announcement of CPEC, Zhang Baozhong, chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company told The Washington Post that his company planned to spend an additional $4.5 billion on roads, power, hotels and other infrastructure for Gwadar's industrial zone, which would be one of the largest ever sums of foreign direct investment into Pakistan.