Pakistan's economic growth has lagged behind most of its South Asian neighbors. Still, the country's recent geo-political developments may change this outlook. Gwadar, Pakistan's largest port has just become the center of an industrial zone and home to an international airport that is set to provide an unprecedented opportunity for business growth and investment in the country. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about Gwadar Free Zone so you can start investing immediately!
Gwadar port is situated on the Arabian Sea coast, just outside one of the leading oil shipping lanes, i.e., the straits of Hormuz. The Gwadar Port is crucial to China's Belt Road Strategy. To maximize the potential of this Port, Pakistan and China have created a Gwadar Free Zone in addition to the deep-sea port. The 2,281-acre Gwadar Free Zone is situated close to the port. It has air and transportation connections to all of the main cities of Pakistan. In addition to boosting the nation's exports, creating this free economic zone will facilitate relations with the leading regional powers.
Construction on the first phase of the Gwadar Free Zone began in 2015, and it became operational in 2018. A total of 47 businesses have been authorized in the free zone for development under phase 1. This phase was constructed on 60 acres of land to create business centers, refrigerated space, storage areas, and fishery processing centers. Additionally, 12 factories in all have been built during this period. Six have already been erected, and the remaining six are presently being built.
Imran Khan, a former prime minister, inaugurated this phase in 2021, extending over 2,221 acres of land. Phase 2 development is currently underway and will end within the next year or two. This phase's development projects will concentrate on the manufacturing, trading, and service sectors. In addition, a $3 billion direct investment is planned. It suggests there will be about 30,000 open positions in the following years.
The purpose behind constructing the Gwadar Free Zone is to promote international markets by luring new enterprises in the service, essential trade, transportation, industrial, and cross-container shipping sectors. As a result, it was created per the specific requirements of organizations in the production, service, and commerce sectors.
The Pakistani government also wanted to have a big part in the trade in the territory. It chose to establish a free zone with China for this reason. The CPEC authorities have given control of the free zone to the China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) to stimulate commercial activity. These will have a significant impact on the nation's economy and aid in creating jobs for locals.
The Gwadar Free Zone will offer a unique opportunity for businesses to get a foothold in Pakistan.
Gwadar Free Zone offers ample opportunities for businesses to grow and prosper. The benefits of setting up shop in Gwadar include tax exemptions and easy access to markets in Central Asia, the Middle East, and China.
In addition, businesses in Gwadar will be able to take advantage of the deep- international airport, which is currently under construction. Gwadar offers excellent opportunities to invest. Due to its deep seaport and closeness to vital shipping lanes, the Gwadar Free Zone will play a significant role in global commerce.
The Pakistani government has established many attractions for foreign investors to draw them and boost business activity in the region. According to Government:
Additionally, the Gwadar Port is primed for growth and development, making it an ideal location for businesses in various industries.
A list released by COPHC includes companies that may be established in the free zone.
For investors, COPHC has made the reservation relatively straightforward. To start a new business in the free zone, you must follow the guidelines listed below.
Companies must submit the following paperwork to obtain a license to operate in Gwadar.
To sum up, the Gwadar Free Zone is a zone of opportunity. It is an excellent example of what Pakistan can do when it puts its mind and resources together. It offers Pakistan an opportunity to invest in and trade with other countries. The success of the Gwadar Free Zone is not just in being able to offer favorable conditions for business but in how it can change Pakistan's economy from what it is now into something that can offer growth and stability.