The experts at special discussion on Monday called new technology and technical skills crucial to benefit from the mega China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative as the master plan of Gwadar smart port city envisioned the development of industrial base that would make it the hub of trade and economic activities, and a great attraction for tourists, investors, and labour. These views were expressed by Mujeebur Rehman Qambrani, the Director-General of Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) while speaking at a special session on “Gwadar and the Road to Sustainable Development” organized here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute, a news release said. He said that the master plan of Gwadar port city was inspired by China’s city of Shenzhen and GDA was vigorously executing it for a timely delivery. “More than five years were spent on refining this master plan with close collaboration between Pakistan, China, and other stakeholders,” he added. He apprised the participants regarding various projects, including Asia’s largest airport to be functional in 2023, plans for implementing a safe city model, oil and gas infrastructure for smart energy modeling in the city, maritime tourism, and extensive plans for ferry transport and freight and railways network connecting Gwadar with Karachi and other parts of the country. He said this year the GDA would inaugurate work on the ambitious Central Business District in Gwadar to be spread over 12.3 square kilometers to encourage fast-track development through public-private partnerships. The District would be developed in 10 years which would cost around Rs 84-90 billion and Rs 400 billion of profit was estimated to be generated. Cognizant of the environmental concerns in development, he said there were plans for a solar park as well as various on and off-grid solutions to meet the energy demand of the city. Mentioning initiatives to meet the energy demand, he said that 100MW would be added to the system in Gwadar to bridge the energy demand-supply gap through a partnership with Iran. On water supply management initiatives, he informed that two freshwater dams have been connected to meet the high water demands. Though water is ample, management issues have marred the distribution system, which would be replaced. He said that a separate governance structure has been agreed upon by the federal and provincial governments for one-window operations to enable swift decision-making. Senior Advisor, China Study Centre, Dr Hassan Daud Butt said that keeping in view the demand for new jobs in the country, it was crucial to embrace technology faster than our current pace to improve productivity and avail future economic opportunities. He said that Sino-Pak cooperation in connection with CPEC and COVID-19 has transformed our technological pace.