BEIJING – Gwadar Port Authority chairman Dostain Khan Jamaldini has informed that at least 30 companies in different businesses such as hotel, bank, logistics and fish processing have entered the free economic zone with direct investment of about $474 million with expectations of generating $790 million after full operation.
“The first phase of Gwadar’s free zone has already been inaugurated,” he said in an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Friday.
While commenting on the progress and achievements of the project, over the years, he said that Gwadar port connectivity, Gwadar port collection area, production area are now almost ready, and weekly we are receiving a ship from COSCO, again a Chinese company, one of the largest in the world, it is calling on Gwadar port regularly.
“And we are hopeful that with the start of industrial production in the free zone, the frequency of the ships will increase,” he added.
Dostain Jamaldini said that there are many corridors, linked through the network of Belt and Road initiative announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping five years ago, but the most viable, the most active, the most swiftly implemented component and corridor is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“It is opening up Pakistan, it is linking Pakistan not only with western China but with the central Asian countries”, he added.
The CPEC became the flagship project of BRI, aiming to provide new opportunities to the people of both countries, as well as bringing new impetus and vision to China-Pakistan friendship.
In 2015, Gwadar port was officially leased to China for 43 years. Since then the existing port has been developed under CPEC at a cost of $1.62 billion, with the aim of linking northern Pakistan and western China to the deep water seaport while in 2016 construction began on the Gwadar Special Economic Zone.
The multi-million dollar Gwadar port, a key component of the CPEC is now operational. In the beginning, the port is expected to see one million tonnes of cargo going through it.
Gwadar is known as the ‘heart’ of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, and many believe the rising city will bridge Pakistan with the rest of the world.
According to analysts, the CPEC is a long-term and systematic project that aims to promote economic cooperation through collaboration on Gwadar port, energy, transportation infrastructure and industrial cooperation.
The CPEC is expected to bring enormous benefits to the people of Pakistan and with the completion of several energy and infrastructure projects in the last five years, conditions in Pakistan have already started to improve.