Gwadar a decade age and Gwadar today are two completely different sides of the picture. A decade ago, Gwadar was a small fishing area located in the remote area of Balochistan. But now, Gwadar is slowly and gradually becoming the economic hub of Pakistan. With so much development and projects going on in Gwadar, job opportunities have opened up and new businesses have set up. Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the deep-sea port became operational in 2016.
More or less 20 companies have set up their businesses in Gwadar bringing around US$460 million direct investment. This is as per the port’s operator, China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC).
Muhammad Umair is an American of Pakistani origin who plans to open a food chain in Gwadar.
He said, “I conducted a survey and decided to establish an international fast food chain restaurant in Gwadar. I chose Gwadar because it is a growing port city with enormous opportunities which can give me good earnings. This restaurant will be a start. I have the plan to invest in other businesses also. It might be a factory.”
Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority Dostain Jamaldini, said, “with the development of the port, a number of business people are showing their interest to start their new businesses in Gwadar. China has helped us develop port as well as the city, resultantly the businesses of locals are flourishing.”
Gul Zamir first migrated to USA from Punjab in 2010 but he was not able to adjust in the environment and returned after an year.
Zamir said, “On the return, I didn’t know what to do, but finally, a friend guided me to Gwadar and I started a construction business in partnership with a local partner. Now, I am very happy with my work. There was nothing near my office except a poor road and several shabby houses. But now, a big number of modern houses have been built on both sides of the fully carpeted road.”
Another businessman from Lahore Khurram Khan shifted to Gwadar in 2014. He said, “it would be good for your future”. His words become true. “It has been proven right as my business is picking up day by day.” Chinese companies have changed Gwadar within a short period. People can now see a well-developed port, business center, free zone, water desalination plant, improved health and education facilities, a change which is laying a foundation for Pakistan’s prosperous future.”