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Gwadar, is a planned free trade port city on the southwestern warm water Arabian Sea coastline of Pakistan in Balochistan province. It is the district headquarters of Gwadar District and, in 2011, was designated the winter capital of Balochistan province. Gwadar has a population of approximately 85,000. It is about 533 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf. Gwadar Port is a strategic warm-water deep-sea port developed jointly by the Government of Pakistan and the Government of China at a cost of USD $248 million and officially opened by the President of Pakistan on 20 March 2007. Gwadar is one of the few planned cities in Pakistan, which have been developed from scratch under an urban master plan. Before its development as a port city, the town was a fishing village. A master plan for the development of Gwadar City with land zoning and internal infrastructure networks was approved by the Government of Pakistan in 2003. The Gwadar Development Authority is charged with the execution of this master plan. A major part of its current work program is focused on the fast-track construction of roads, other infrastructure and public buildings. The provincial government of Balochistan has started with the development of infrastructure for the industrial parks located east of the city. Related to this rapid development, the population growth rate of Gwadar has accelerated during the past two years. The current population of Gwadar city is estimated at around 85,000 and is expected to reach half a million in about five years.
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