Trade activities fuel a countries economy. Generically, a system of imports and exports is developed through land routes whereas maritime routes are only available to geographically fortunate countries.
Gwadar, the crown of CPEC, comprises of a core city as well as a port side. Largest in the world, Gwadar Port is adequately constructed and fully equipped to handle, store as well as clear an aggregate of 400 million tonnes of cargo, annually.
Welcoming its first liner in March 2018, Port of Gwadar is still in its early stages of development and hasn’t fully risen to its absolute potential. However, in juxtaposition with the Port of Karachi and the Port of Jebel Ali, an adequate estimation of Gwadar’s capability can be deduced.
Port of Karachi
Opened to activity in 1857 and since operated by Karachi Port Trust, it is Pakistan’s first sea port and consequently opened a myriad of vistas for the nation. With an aggregate of 30 available berths and 8 wharfs, it includes a deep natural harbour and provides safe navigation for vessels. Being the country’s largest metropolis, Karachi contributes to 53.38%** of the total collections of the Federal Board of Revenue. A major portion of the profits is generated through customs duty and sales tax on imports.
Port Of Jebel Ali
A century and 2 decades after the inauguration of the Port of Karachi, Jebel Ali in Saudi Arabia came in to existence. The 9th busiest port in the world with the largest man-made harbour to have ever been built the Port of Jebel Ali has an annual port capacity of 7.62 million tonnes.*
Owing to its strategic location the port provides a full market access to over 2 billion people and consequently plays an essential role in UAE’s economy.
Once a remote town of Baluchistan, Gwadar has now flourished and progressed to become one of the most lucrative cities in Pakistan. Under the China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor, Gwadar city and port is all set towards redeeming Pakistan’s crashing economy. It is strategically developed to handle 200 million tonnes of cargo each year while plans of expanding the venture in phase III entail a port capacity of 400 million tonnes annually.
In summation, Gwadar Port is the shining beam on the sombre horizon of Pakistan’s economy. The port will not only bring internal benefits in terms of its size but will also expedite trade activities, for China, as well as the landlocked Central Asian countries.
References: ** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Karachi#cite_note-fbr0607-2
*As recorded in 2012. The figure recorded in 2018 is 22.1 million.