Gwadar City Declared Tax-Free Status
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects China’s border city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar. Network of Roads has been constructed and railway linkage is in pipeline. The future trade route for China, Russia, and Central Asia will be CPEC. Gwadar will be hub of major commercial activities of the whole region.
The Upper House, top legislature forum in Pakistan, the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs on Tuesday week ago endorsed its sub-committee’s recommendation to make the entire Gwadar city a tax-free zone.
Recommendations were presented in a report by sub-committee convener Senator Kauda Babar to the Senate panel with Senator Nuzhat Sadiq in the chair. All of the recommendations have been given the green light. The Senate panel also endorsed the suggestion that investors in Gwadar should be facilitated like the ones in other special economic and export processing zones.
Senator Babar apprised the chair that the report was formulated after close negotiations with relevant stakeholders and mentioned all the problems of the fishermen and the local community inhabiting Gwadar whereas member of Balochistan Assembly Jamal Kalmati was also taken on board.
The report also suggested establishing 300 megawatts (MW) coal power plant in Gwadar on a priority basis. It further proposed that railroads, internet service were necessary for the development of Gwadar Port whereas the issues pertaining to the provision of potable water and electricity needed to be resolved urgently.
Senator Rana Mahmoodul Hassan opined that floating cage fish farming had proved to be a fruitful source of fishing whereas Gwadar had the ideal terrain for the concept as it was carried out in the sea. He said the government should collaborate with the Chinese authorities to devise a plan for providing finances to local fishermen’s families, adding that there were unexplored resources in Gwadar which needed to be exploited for the good of the local community as well as the country.
In fact, Gwadar may become a global hub of trade-routes as its geopolitical location connects the whole world easily. Due to its climate, hot-waters, it is ideal for all-weather trading. The city is leased to China for 43 years and undergoing mega developments. The deep-sea port is under construction, which is partially operational already. After completion, the port will be one of the largest in this part of the world, with a capacity of 500 million tons of cargo handling capacity. State of the art, International airport is under construction. Phase I of Industrial state is already completed and others phases are under planning. Gwadar city is being connected with another part of the country by road, by train, and by air. Gwadar will be the most feasible port for Russia, China, Afghanistan, and all central Asian States for international trade. Infrastructure developments will meet all the requirements of International trade.
Status of Tax-Free zone will attract investors, as it offers incentive based friendly policies to investors, ensuring then high return on investment. It will be heaven to tourist, especially from Russia, as the temperature is very warm even in winter. The beaches are virgin, neat and clean.
Aquaculture, is unique and natural. Seafood is pollution free and all natural. In addition to Chinese Investors, other countries are also going to invest heavily in Gwadar. Saudi Arabia, has consented to build “Oil-City” worth 10 billion US dollars. Arab Emirate, Kuwait and Turkey has shown keen interest to invest in Gwadar soon. Some European nations are also willing to invest in Pakistan in a big way. Russia is also investing in the off-shore pipeline in Pakistan worth 10 billion US Dollars. There exist unlimited opportunities for our Russian friends for business, trading, investment, tourism etc.
Over-all the investment environment in Pakistan, foresee a big scope and very much optimistic about future opportunities. Declaring Gwadar City as Tax-Free Zone, will accelerate, the process of industrialization and generate commercial activities in a big manner. It will not only help Pakistan to take-off economically but also contribute to the regional economy too. We warmly welcome our Russia friends to be involved in Gwadar at an early stage, as after a few years it will be developed and may become saturated and more competitive, and rather face tough competition.