Gwadar emerging as focal point of development: PM Khan

Web DeskWeb Editor

05th Jul, 2021. 08:03 pm
Pakistan’s Gwadar emerging as focal point of development

GWADAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that the future of Pakistan belonged to Gwadar, owing to its emergence as the focal point of development, while ensuring prosperity for the entire country.

Addressing the launch of development projects and the signing ceremony of the memoranda of understanding in the port city, the prime minister said Gwadar would lead to new opportunities for regional trade.

The prime minister who arrived in Gwadar on a daylong visit inaugurated the first phase of the Gwadar Free Zone, besides performing the groundbreaking of its second phase spread at 2,200 acres and opening of three factories.

The prime minister said his vision of an emerging Pakistan was a steadfast nation, which was committed to the prosperity of the country. The government was focused on ensuring provision of the basic amenities in Gwadar and Balochistan, particularly clean water and electricity to encourage industrialisation, he added.

The recently announced Rs730 billion development budget for Balochistan was historic, aimed at the development of the province and also to mitigate the longstanding deprivation of its people.

Prime Minister Khan said: “No country can progress unless it mainstreams all its areas and ensures across-the-board development,” adding that connectivity was one of the major components of the Balochistan package.

The government was giving priority to the development in the far-flung areas of Balochistan, Northern Areas and rural Punjab, he said, adding that the Gwadar International Airport would encourage regional trade and boost economic activity.

A one-window operation to facilitate the investors was in progress, the prime minister said, and urged the provincial governments to ensure proper servicing of investors since the subject moved to them after the passage of the 18th Amendment.

Prime Minister Khan thanked the government of China for launching water and solar projects in Balochistan, particularly in Gwadar.
“Pakistan can benefit from its strategic location and also from the expertise of its friend China, which is becoming an economic power in the region,” he added.

He also mentioned the technical education provided by China to the youth of Gwadar, which he said, would prove beneficial in the form of foreign investment in future.

The government has initiated several initiatives for the development of Gwadar, including a university, employment under Kamyab Jawan Programme, and the upgradation of the equipment of local fishermen to ensure value-addition to their catch.

The Prime Minister Office would regularly monitor the progress on the development plans initiated in Gwadar on a monthly basis, he said, adding that the regional countries had expressed interest in reaping the benefits offered by the Gwadar Port.

The prime minister expressed concern over the deteriorating law and situation in Afghanistan, and stressed peace and stability as extremely important for the continuity of the development projects in the region.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan said that the provincial government has been collaborating with the CPEC Authority to resolve the issues of Customs.

He highlighted the problems regarding the relocation of locals along the Eastbay and said that efforts were being made for an amicable solution.

The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the current fiscal year covered the entire Balochistan and the extension of Gwadar Hospital up to 200 beds, construction of the first university in Gwadar, border markets and development of villages were on the cards.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said that the cooperation between the governments of Pakistan and China had led several projects to see the light of the day.

Over the last eight years, the two countries accelerated their pace on several projects related to civic amenities, particularly clean water and solar plants, he said, adding that Gwadar was a showcase of the “Chinese solution” for Pakistan’s development.

By taking a comprehensive way of development, the Gwadar Port would turn into a business hub, the Chinese envoy said, adding that China would continue to extend support for a shared future with Pakistan.

CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (Retd) said that spread over 60 acres, the Gwadar Free Zone had been completed where 46 enterprises had become operational. Now, the groundbreaking of the second phase at the vast 2,200 acres of land would usher in a new era of prosperity in Gwadar and in Balochistan.

The personal interest of Prime Minister Imran Khan resulted in materialisation of the transshipment policy, Afghan transit policy, framework signing and the execution of border trade with Iran and start of work at the Eastbay Expressway, he added.

Several significant development projects were in progress, including the Gwadar International Airport and a vocational institute to develop skills of the locals.

Bajwa said that conspiracies were on the rise against CPEC; however, the commitment of the government greatly helped thwart such challenges.

Earlier, the prime minister before landing at the Gwadar Airport took an aerial view of the infrastructure built at the seaport, including the Expressway.

On his arrival at the China Business Centre Hall, he was given a detailed briefing on the South Balochistan Development Package. He also held an interaction session with the CPEC workforce.

Moreover, seven regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Kenya and Qatar on Monday expressed their commitment for cooperation on the development of Gwadar.

With their respective ambassadors present at a ceremony, the regional countries showed their support for the development of Pakistan’s port city.

Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan also witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding with the government of China for carrying out development projects in Gwadar.

The accords included the implementation agreement on setting up of 1.2MGD desalination plant to resolve the shortage of drinking water for the residents of Gwadar.

Other agreements included China’s grant for solar generators for South Balochistan, and the groundbreaking of North Gwadar Free Zone and Enterprises.

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