Gwadar and Chabahar: Competition or Cooperation

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Abstract

Gwadar and Chabahar ports have gained tremendous significance as both leverage their geo-strategic location to the two rising powers in Asia, China and India. Gwadar port is being managed by China under the China –Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whereas the development of Chabahar port is funded by India under the tripartite Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Iran and Afghanistan, signed on May 23, 2016. Both are located at the international energy trading route and provide connectivity to Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The nature of the capitalist system and basic economic cost has the potential to put both ports in competition with each other. However, Iran and Pakistan deny any kind of such competition; rather both States aspire to build on cooperation and linkages between these two ports. Undoubtedly, China is an emerging power; however, the US is committed on containing China and fighting for resources in Asia. This paper will look into the argument and arrangements that will either lead to cooperation or competition between the two ports. Moreover, in light of different economic theories, the paper will project different scenarios.

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