Pakistan and China have agreed in the last Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting to develop the Gwadar Port City, one of the major projects being executed under the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Gwadar holds great significance as it is called the "soul of CPEC," and the development of the port city will help realize the actual goals of the multi-billion-dollar project, which aims to turn Pakistan into an industrialized nation.
CPEC, which started with the energy and infrastructure projects a decade ago, is now heading towards uplifting the agriculture and Information Technology sectors of Pakistan as well as the development of special economic zones in various parts of the country.
However, Gwadar holds the level of significance in CPEC that no other project does for its far-reaching impact on the bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. The CPEC's broader goal is to achieve regional connectivity to boost trade and economic activities and to bring the region on a par with the developed parts of the world.
Adhering to this spirit, both sides put much emphasis on Gwadar projects during the last JCC meeting, as its minutes revealed plans to develop the port city for socioeconomic uplift of the locals.
Both sides expressed satisfaction over the fact that the Gwadar Port, as the leading project of CPEC, could now successfully operate at full capacity.
The meeting was informed that the Gwadar Free Economic Zone's Phase-I, scattered over 60 acres of land, had been successfully completed and supporting facilities improved. The participants were informed that Eastbay Expressway, China Aid Technical and Vocational Institute and Fraternity Emergency Care Centre had also been completed and transferred to Pakistan.
Besides, the Gwadar hospital project had passed the mid-term acceptance check; Gwadar Seawater Desalination Plant had been completed and Gwadar New International Airport was near completion. The dredging project was under implementation.
The two sides also agreed to expand the business scope of Gwadar Port and facilitate the improvement of transport, healthcare, water and power supply and education for the port city residents.
Both countries also agreed to improve the capability and connectivity of Gwadar Port and make it a new gateway to the prosperity of Pakistan.