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Gwadar – set to become free trade zone to world

Pakistan transformed the dream of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into reality by making the Gwadar Economic Free Zone operational. The potential of Gwadar has been fully realized. Due to the dedication and hard work of Pakistani and Chinese teams, both CPEC and Gwadar were heading towards a bright future. There was an urgent need to transform Gwadar into an international city. The city is fully functional and now it can serve the future demands of its people.

The federal government will equally share in the equalization package for Gwadar so as to provide quality services in health, education and other social sectors for the people of Balochistan. In this regard funding for each district of Balochistan would start this year.

The ongoing modernization of the railway system from Karachi to Peshawar and Khunjerab to Gwadar would generate economic activity, increase in exports and create jobs.

Besides this there will be upgrading of road network, building of necessary infrastructure, building of power projects and setting up of special economic zones to bring prosperity to the people of Pakistan particularly Gwadar in Balochistan.

The new motorway networks would bring prosperity not only to Central Asian States, Western China and Afghanistan but also Pakistan and strengthen Chinese President Xi’s vision of Belt and Road Initiative.

Gwadar is termed it the most important contribution of the Chinese President for the future generations. The CPEC projects in Gwadar are based on financial viability and environmental sustainability. The recent Gwadar Expo 2018 – the two-day conference and exhibition was aimed at providing a platform for Pakistani and Chinese businessmen already working on CPEC-related projects.

Gwadar Free Zone will be operated by China Overseas Port Holding Company, which has also set up a business centre for handling of operations. The business centre will provide a one-window operation for matters including immigration, customs, visa operations and port clearance facilities.

The south area of the free zone (Phase I) will develop a commercial logistics zone with the leading functions of commodity exhibition, transit and distribution, relying on the existing port as well as fishery processing. Processing and manufacturing areas will be developed in the north area and divided into three construction phases.

 

Daily necessities and small household appliances, fishery, stone processing, machinery manufacturing and metal processing are the main introduced industries. The Free Zone will adopt tax exemption policy in the development of bonded logistics. This facility would be used for transportation of imported oil through Gwadar port to China as well as from Gulf states. There is a plan to establish a refinery and petrochemical industries in the oil city.

The total area of Gwadar Model City is 290,000 acres of land, which includes 160,000 acres of residential area while the remaining is for industrial purposes. A Chinese company is working on the Model City Plan and it will be ready by August 14, 2018.

There is shortage of four million gallons per day in water supply to the area of Gwadar city. The demand would reach 12 million gallons per day in 2020. For this purpose additional arrangements are being made to get 10 million gallons of water. Conference rooms have been established for the facility of investors.

At present two major projects are underway; one is Business Gwadar Port Authority Complex and other is Free Zone Business Centre. A total of 2,500 people are working, including 2,000 Pakistanis and 500 Chinese.

A big building of Free Zone business centre has been built in a short period of five months. Most of Chinese technical people are working there. They are also giving training to the local people. They have also started first phase of training of local people in China Pakistan Vocational Technical Institute. This Institute is part of free zone and requirements of technical people would be fulfilled from it.

More than 60 percent people are linked to fishery sector and board making. Chinese investment in Gwadar is almost touching $2 billion during the last three years. 16 units are including five industrial, three trade and eight others relating to services including insurance and banking, both by Chinese and Pakistani companies, are being established at the Gwadar Port Free Zone Business Centre.

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