A senior Pakistani official said on March 10 that the industries established in Gwadar under the CPEC framework will promote Pakistan's export growth.
It's a good wish for a bright future and also an expectation of the whole Pakistani nation. However, to fully realize this aspiration, the Pakistani government and parties concerned need to make great efforts.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor（CPEC） is a model and flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative that embraces extensive consultation, joint construction and shared benefits. Both China and Pakistan attach great importance to the continuous development of this great project.
Strengthening cooperation in transportation, energy, ocean, and other fields, and enhancing connectivity to promote the common development of the two countries are at the core of the CPEC project. The all-round cooperation in various fields under the CPEC umbrella is conducive to further strengthening the all-weather strategic partnership between China and Pakistan, and also provides important opportunities for Pakistan.
In August last year, Pakistan's cabinet formally approved the “Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan”, which has set the tone and pointed out the direction for Gwadar development. According to the plan, Gwadar will be built into a center for industrial development, commercial activities, and international transit. The relevant development and construction work will be carried out in three stages, with results to be delivered in 2025, 2035 and 2050 respectively. The first stage will focus on providing necessary living infrastructure and will be completed before 2025. After that, Gwadar development will gradually focus on the functional infrastructure of the port city, including modern loading and unloading facilities, advanced storage and logistics facilities, the infrastructure of special economic zone, and airport roads and other transportation infrastructure. Finally, Gwadar will be built into a modern and intelligent port of international standards.
Therefore, there is a long way to go for Gwadar. To attain the goal, I have three suggestions: first, to build the whole Gwadar region into a special economic zone; second, to implement preferential tax policies in the Gwadar region as soon as possible; third, to further improve the business and security environment in Gwadar region.
I think it is necessary to launch preferential policies and ensure a favorable business environment to attract domestic and foreign investments to Gwadar on a large scale, so that Gwadar region can enjoy vitality and prosperity. A developed Gwadar is bound to drive the growth of Pakistan’s export, either domestic-made or foreign-made, and increase the revenue for Pakistan's finance.
Finally, I would like to emphasize one point that Pakistan is an agricultural country. I have always thought it is difficult to increase the export volume and GDP by a large margin only by relying on the export of agricultural products. In order to substantially increase the exports, Pakistan should gradually realize the industrialization and modernization of the country. The first step should be the modernization of the country's infrastructure; the second step is the industrialization, and even in the field of agriculture, we should develop towards modernization; the third step is to develop education so as to improve the cultural and educational quality of the people in an all-round way; the fourth step is the development of science and technology. In this way, with persistent efforts for one or two decades, exports will go up, and so will GDP.
Source: China Economic Net, 2020-3-25