Posted on April 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM
As part of CPEC and by extension of the Silk Route Gwadar port holds pivotal importance. Gwadar port is a regional and business hub for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Gwadar port is one of the deepest of the world and it has helped China and Pakistan to realize the goal of the 21st century which will not only benefit Pakistan and China but also Central Asia. Gwadar port has complementary projects including Gwadar International Airport, CPEC, Eastbay Express and Special Economic Zones. As well Government defined about Gwadar port and extend to creating an international port city that can compete Hong Kong, Dubai and Shenzhen. A new master plan for Gwadar port city is under implementation with the underlying assumption that traditional institutes like GDA can perform this feat.
Even if the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) matches the capability of Capital Development Authority or Lahore Development Authority (LDA) which can create and develop something greater like Johar Town, Lahore or sector G-14 of Islamabad. The idea is comparable to build a storey steel skyscraper and hiring a domestic labour which is expert in building townhouses.
Gwadar port will be the hub for providing commercial, residential and Industrial services for the residents and visitors and to achieve Gwadar full potential, the government have to provide security and full modern urban life. It totally depends on Gwadar city governance and policymakers interest. In Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of world Economic forum, Pakistan is ranked 115th out of 137 countries, which performs worse rather than Ghana, Uganda and Ethiopia. In Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) India is ranked at 40 and Bangladesh is ranked at 99. Pakistan performed worst progress in which it only follows five out of twelve points of GCI, as well it falls South Asian average progress relating to corruption, property rights, public sectors, Judicial System, public sectors performance, Policymaking and transparency of government system. Pakistan was ranked at 117 out of 180 countries on corruption in transparency international as well World bank put Pakistan at 147th out of 190 countries on the doing business ranking.
So, if the public sectors institutions of Pakistan are failed to achieve and reach South Asia's average level of governance, How Pakistani government is expecting to reach the level of Dubai or Hong Kong. Even though Gwadar offers best opportunities to invest and reach the maximum benefits and it really needs attention to work on policies which can help to achieve the objectives. The good governance of any country is the biggest priority for genuine investors rather than infrastructure or incentives. The defined governance structure that will help to ensure the titles of lands, settlement of disputes, effective contract enforcement, transparent bureaucracy system and state of the art urban services which will be helpful for citizens and defined system of Pakistan.
So, the solution exists in "Charter city" in an island of good governance. Charter city doesn't mean for offering unlimited concessions or incentives, it means reforms enclaves which will create micro investment opportunities which are favourable for investors. Charter city model has been tested and implemented in many countries where the charter document and national laws regulate the system and City. special economic reforms and regulations will be defined which will form a subset of the regulatory regime, which includes courts, special laws, police, tax regime and utility companies. Shenzhen and Hong Kong are the best examples of Charter cities but within California city, there are more than 100 charter cities including the famous silicon valley.
Gwadar future survives on a well defined and robust governance solution that should be agreed between Balochistan government and Federal government, which will create many opportunities for making Gwadar and international free port city.