The transformation of the port of Gwadar began in 2013 and has proceeded gradually over the intervening years. It is the linchpin in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $60 billion collection of infrastructure projects intended to connect Pakistan’s seaboard with inland markets.
The shipment of goods from the recently-built port of Gwadar, Pakistan to customers in Afghanistan has begun, according to Pakistani media. The boxship Diyala has offloaded two containers of fertilizer for Afghan customers at Gwadar, and the cargo will be trucked overland to the border town of Chaman, Kandahar.
The port is substantially Chinese-built and Chinese-operated. In 2017, Pakistan’s government gave state-owned China Overseas Port Holding Company a forty-year lease for its operation. Under the terms of its long-term contract, the firm retains over 90 percent of revenue from Gwadar’s marine operations, plus 85 percent of the revenue from the management of an adjacent free zone. It also benefits from deep tax exemptions that Pakistan has granted to Chinese companies for CPEC projects. CPEC is a controversial development, both locally and internationally, as it is debt-financed and its future profitability is uncertain.
It is a landmark and breakthrough for Gwadar for making first-ever shipment of 16,400 tons of DAP fertilizers for Afghanistan anchored at Gwadar Port on Friday. The ship brought fertilizers from Australia under the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement. This is the first time Gwadar port is being used for the Import of urea by the Afghan government.
This trade of urea has now opened the gates for Afghan Transit trade and International trade for Gwadar port, Chairman Gwadar Port Authority. Another ship loaded with 16,000 tons urea and 500,000 tons of sugar and wheat would reach Gwadar next month adding urea consignment would be made by road.
The opened flux of Gwadar port will not only enhance global trade transit, economy, development sectors to flourish but it will also create job opportunities for people of Gwadar and Makran but rather for the people of Pakistan and it will also improve their living standards through exposure and trade activities.