China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a mega economic project under China’s grand vision of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is being pursued by China and Pakistan, collectively. The project secures numerous economic benefits for both countries. This is why China is making multiple investments in Pakistan’s industrial, transportation and energy sectors. However, there is one city where China is focusing on. Can you guess the city?
Yes, Gwadar is the heart of project CPEC. China has set aside a major chunk of investments to develop Gwadar and considers it a key project in CPEC.
What makes Gwadar the focal point of CPEC?
Gwadar is a port city in Pakistan that has one of the deepest seaports located on the shores of the Arabian Sea near the Iranian border. Gwadar port is 533 kilometers from Karachi and 380 km (240 miles) from Oman. It is in proximity to key oil shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf and International Sea Lines of Communication. Due to these aspects of its unique location, Gwadar port carries the prospect of becoming the main hub of international trade in the future. It will also provide the shortest route to China to extend its outreach in the global market.
As part of CPEC, China has pledged to develop Gwadar at $1.62 billion and aims to connect Gwadar port (Pakistan) with Kashgar (China) through a network of highways, railways, oil and natural gas pipelines. The port is not only a hub of connectivity but is also a part of 21st Century Maritime Silk Route which will not only benefit Pakistan and China but also the entire region.