Gwadar in the Hands of China
The Government of Pakistan has officially awarded the multi-billion dollar contract for the construction and operation of Gwadar Port to China. The contract was signed in the presence of President Asif Ali Zardari, Chinese Ambassador Liu Jian and senior government officials.
Previously, the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) was handling the operations of Gwadar Port. The PSA abandoned the project when Pakistan failed to meet obligations under the 40year port handling agreement signed in 2007. In addition, the PSA had anticipated spending $525 million on the project in five years but it made no such investment because of non-ful- fillment of its demand for allotment of land worth Rs. 15 billion.
China expressed its interest in Gwadar Port in December 2010 when it offered to construct additional berths and make the port operational if Pakistan handed it over.
Gwadar Port has the potential to become the hub of regional trade and commerce, bringing Central Asian countries closer. The strategic location of Gwadar Port will integrate the economies of the region, by serving as a trade corridor, linking China’s province of Xinjiang to the Middle East. Moreover, the close proximity of the Middle East to Gwadar will facilitate import of oil to China.