Investment in Balochistan


Naseebullah Khan
Balochistan is a heaven of investment that is home to tremendous natural resources, livestock, agriculture, energy, fisheries, and tourist sites. The government has provided remarkable incentives for investment with special regard to Gwadar. The obstacle is internal insecurity, which needs to be dealt with through peaceful means. The government has taken ample incentives for the attraction of investors in the province. It has innovated a 23 years tax relaxation and holiday for investment in Gwadar. The investors are exempted on custom duties from construction on operation 100%. Whereas, leasing of plots for 99 years along with declaring Gwadar a free trade zone have already been announced. There are good opportunities for investment in Gwadar in the construction of hotels, the opening of restaurants, the establishment of Water desalination plants, etc.The government has also provided exemplary Incentives for energy sector investment. The procedure of agreement has been easy as it needs only a direct agreement between government to government. No bidding is required for new technology whereas an atmosphere of Competitive bidding has been encouraged too.The province is home to heaven of Livestock investment as 93 pc of its land is classified as rangeland. The higher area is available for animal farming, dairy farming, animal cross-breeding, meat, and milk production.Balochistan has the potential of investment in the agriculture sector too. The province is home to 5 agro ecological zones. It provides ample of Apple, 89 pc Grapes, 45 percent Dates with 130 varieties, 53 pc Plum, 72 percent pomegranate, and 94 pc apricot to the country. The land is suitable for Crops cultivation such as Wheat, Jower, Maize, and Rice.When it comes to the Fisheries sector, the province has a 772 km coastline with 8 main and 30 smaller landing sites. It provides 34 pc of Marine Fish to the total production of the country. Whilst 80 percent of its caught Fish are exported to the Middle east.The province is a good destination for tourism. The Astola, the ancient site of Mehargarh which is 3500 years old, Ziarath, the mountains of the province, MolachatokKhuzdar, and the world’s second-largest Jupiter forests are attractive destinations for tourism and investment. The suitability of Gwadar waters for cruise ship voyages, and water sports have the potential for investors.The province is an unexplored paradise of untapped resources where 51 metallic and non-metallic resources such as Iron, Gold, Copper, Coal, Gypsum, Antimony, Nickel, Limestone, Marble, Quartzite, Barite, Zinc, Iron core are found__which are equal to 70 pc of the total minerals of the country. According to the ex DG of the geological survey of Pakistan Dr. Imran, the untapped natural resources in Balochistan are worth 50 trillion USD.As far as investment in the energy sector is concerned, the province is home to a 772 km coastline which is remarkable potential for generating solar and wind energy whereas the waters of Pasni, Gwadar, and Jewni are suitable for tidal energy. The coastline area of Somniani, Kamalath, Mianihor, Korangi creek, and the Indus delta have enough wind speed for wind energy. The world bank estimates that Solaring only 7 percent of the current area particularly of the coastline region (where two-third of it is in Balochistan), the needs of Pakistan’s energy can be met. Apart from this, the IT sector, the availability of raw material, cheap labor, and strategic importance of the province which connects the middle east with Central Asia along with China further accelerates its potential of investment.No country can harness its potential for investment amid security issues. The province is in the clinches of immense security problems since its inception. Until and unless this stumbling block is resolved, the dream of investment will remain a dream.Hugging the people of the province, satisfying their due reservations, and a peaceful solution to the problem are the only viable answers to the insurgency in Balochistan.