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Gwadar Free Zones to become Export Industrial Parks soon: Chairman COPHC​

April 18, 2023

BEIJING, Apr 17 (APP) :With multifaceted dividends of China Pakistan Economic Corridors' 10 years saga of development, Gwadar Free Zones are heading to become Export Industrial Parks, China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) new chairman Yu Bo said.

Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zones offer immense potential investment opportunities for investors from Pakistan and beyond, he said in his maiden interview.

He said the policy framework and guiding principles administering Gwadar Port and Free Zones have been formulated and implemented keeping in view its geo-economic significance for transhipment. Since Gwadar Free Zones are exempted from all sorts of provincial taxes, federal taxes and customs duties, investors especially those who plan to do manufacturing businesses will be in a good position to cash in on such incentives, China Economic Net reported.

“With no additional costs in the zones, the cost of production becomes much less than that of tariff area. Subsequently, the products will be cheaper and more competative in the international market. Potential investors must take advantage of these commerce enticements.

Besides, these business encouragements provide Pakistan traders with an indispensable thrust to expand exports and strengthen foreign exchange reserves.

“Now it is completely functional,” Yu told the reporter, “It is equipped with full capacity to handle bulk cargo, containerized and LPG vessels. The three multi-purpose berths can process hundreds of metric tons of urea, wheat and DAP fertilizer.

When asked what kind of difficulties are being faced in making Gwadar Port and Free Economic Zone functional and profitable, he replied that the number one obstacle is security precariousness.

Although it has been improved over the last many months still there is a bigger room to bridge security gaps, he added. The second irksome problem is the high cost of electricity generated by diesel-generator. If they receive grid-related power, the development will be accelerated.

“Another dilemma is about Pakistan currency devaluation. Chinese companies in Gwadar have been demanding and seeking permission to be settled in Chinese currency Yuan instead of US dollar. If the government accepts it, companies will have a sigh of relief,” he added.

Responding to another question, he said that the operator of Free Zones, Gwadar Free Zone Company, makes sure that all utility facilities including water and power are provided to its investors. Thus, COPHC is working on many power and water projects.

“COPHC has established two desalination plants with a production capacity of 0.2 million and 0.1 million gallons per day in the Free Zone and Port areas respectively to supply uninterrupted water for consumption. In connection with addressing water woes, Chinese funded 1.2 MGD desalination water plant is in its final stage of completion.
Similarly, in order to ensure all power requirements of the allied industries and port facilities, the 8.5 MW diesel generator is providing electricity to keep port and free zones” operations running 24/7 without any interruption. Gwadar Port is also going to receive 20 MW from Gwadar Grid Station that will help meet electricity needs presently,” he revealed.
“Now, 85 percent of the construction work of the 1.2 MDG desalination water plant has been completed. It will be completed and start operation by this summer.
“In terms of the official inauguration and impact of New Gwadar International Airport, he said it is expected that the project will be completed by September 2023.

“In regard to the degree of satisfaction of investors and industrialists with security and law and order in Balochistan and especially in Gwadar, Yu said that the government of Pakistan has established a Special Security Division (SSD) within Pakistan Army to provide additional security to projects in Gwadar associated with CPEC. The policies for investment are being improved.

As many as 35 companies are now registered in the Free Zone South. Out of them, nine are in full operation.

The operating companies are diverse in their operational category, ranging from the service industry to fertilizer, metal processing, foods processing and so on.

About the future plan of companies that will be starting operation soon in Gwadar Free Zone North, Yu mentioned that in order to give an accurate number would be too early at the moment. “However, since we signed sublease agreements with a number of companies last year, we hope they will undertake their construction and consequent operations soon.”

Energy Corridor project in the offing​

By Yasir Habib Khan

GWADAR, April 19 (Gwadar Pro) - A major multipurpose Gwadar thoroughfare branded as “Energy Corridor” along Eastbay Expressway is all set to be constructed under the framework of Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan.

The Energy Corridor will be a long and straight pathway that is designed to facilitate the installation of underground power transmission lines reaching Gwadar Port, Gwadar Free Zone South, and Gwadar Free Zone North. Additionally, the corridor will host infrastructure for sewerage lines and a system of potable water pipelines.

Currently, with no railway system connecting Gwadar to the rest of Pakistan, a proposed feasibility study recommends laying down railway tracks along the straight strip of the energy corridor.

Abdul Razzaq, an official from the Gwadar Development Authority's town planning department, informed Gwadar Pro that the allocated space along the energy corridor will also be utilized to create parks. Trees will be planted in order to enhance the local ecosystem and contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the energy corridor, he added.

Recently, GDA Director General Mujeeb ur Rehman Qambrani paid a visit to Energy Corridor to review the progress of construction preparation. During the visit, GDA's chief engineer Haji Syed Muhammad highlighted the significance and potential benefits of the Energy Corridor.

Situated strategically, the Energy Corridor is conveniently linked to the old residential and commercial areas, including Mullah Fazal Chowk.

The corridor will feature a 5 km offshoot road that will link Syed Zahoor Hashmi road, passing through Gazarwan Ward, Baloch Ward, and five other wards.

Gwadar operationalization charged up with wheat import​

By Yasir Habib Khan | Gwadar Pro
Apr 18, 2023

GWADAR- With the import of wheat has marked the beginning of a new era of business, trade and commercial activities at the port.

The main beneficiaries are the people of Gwadar & Makran, Balochistan, he added.

Till date, 8 consecutive vessels have called at Gwadar Port and discharged approximately 400,000 metric tons of wheat.

The last consecutive vessel MV Advance will call at Gwadar Port on 26th April 2023, he told Gwadar Pro.

The engaged workforce, he said, in the operation of Gwadar Port relating to imports by TCP are 100 percent locals.

This would help translate the maximum benefit of Gwadar Port to local people helping uplift the living standards of the people of Balochistan, he concluded.
New Gwadar International Airport Lights are Up..
New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) under CPEC is taking shape! With a 12000-foot runway & modern facilities, this airport is capable to accommodate the largest aircraft such as A380 & B747..


Gwadar Port proved its global expertise by handling all Nine ships​

Staff Reporter, Gwadar Pro
May 4, 2023

An official of Gwadar Shipping Clearing Agents Association (AGSCAA) told Gwadar Pro that Gwadar Port has surpassed other ports in Pakistan in shipping and processing of wheat. He said that Gwadar port is more economical than other ports like KPT and Qasim as the latter two ports are always congested and ships face frequent demurrage and high storage charges. There are no demurrage and storage charges at Gwadar Port, along with fastest stevedoring services, he added.

Since the anchoring of the first ship in the first week of March, Gwadar Port has witnessed zero handling loss for wheat export and shipment, all loading, off-loading and transportation being done by Pakistani manpower.

Instead of manual handling, Web Based Customs Clearance System (WeBOC) was used for processing wheat from Gwadar port. The web-based customs clearance system at Gwadar Port ensured automation, standardization and harmonization of all trade procedures and logistics services under the Pakistan Single Window (PSW).

China Overseas Ports Holding Company, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation Limited, Pakistan Customs and National Logistics Cell, Gwadar Free Zone, and GITL have worked in coordination to ensure that That all work is spot on.

According to an official of Gwadar International Terminals Limited, the import of wheat using Gwadar Port is a new milestone as it will boost commercial activities in Gwadar. Representatives of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping suggest that after the successful handling of wheat, the government will use the port for more international shipments. He revealed that the government intends to support Gwadar port by ensuring exports and imports, cargo delivery and Afghan transit trade.
The Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs was Friday apprised that 91 percent profit from Gwadar Port operations went to Chinese company whereas Pakistan’s share was only 9 percent, however maintenance/dredging of the
port was the responsibility of Pakistan.

The Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs that met with Senator Rubina Khalid in chair was told that the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) was unable to carry out this most important obligation (maintenance/dredging) on annual basis due to non-provision of required funds.

While taking briefing on the regular maintenance and dredging facilities of Karachi Post Trust, Senator Saifullah Abro raised questions on the procurement of the hopper Barges in 2013-14 to which the official of the ministry replied that dredgers were not purchased at that time. Presently KPT has four dredgers, the official added.

Senator Saifuallah Abro recommended that a report may be sought on all the tenders issued and advertised and the reason why the tender is not executed and need to re-tender arises. The committee observed that re-tendering is an expensive process also if the tender is not executed timely the purchase cost increases with lapse of time.

The committee was briefed that KPT has sufficient number of dredging platforms only to meet its own maintenance dredging requirements in Karachi Port/Berths. It was also briefed that the existing servers are relatively old and frequently require extensive repair/maintenance works even though it met the annual requirement however requires progressive replacement in next 03 -05 years.

While discussing the implementation status of the recommendations made by the committee relating to re-writing the “Pakistan Merchant Marine Shipping Policy” and “Pakistan Merchant Shipping Ordinance,2001”, officials apprised that the committee has been constituted comprising all key stakeholders to review and make amendments in the policy.

New Gwadar International Airport Lights are Up..
New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) under CPEC is taking shape! With a 12000-foot runway & modern facilities, this airport is capable to accommodate the largest aircraft such as A380 & B747..

If Gwadar’s airport is set to become the largest in Pakistan, will its location near the gulf air corridors and the status of Gwadar as a free trade zone, mean we maybe about to see a “Gwadar Airways” setup?

IMHO, It maybe a good way for a Chinese backed airline to showcase the C-919 and C-929.

China Exhibition and Trading Center at Gwadar Port completed in record time of six months​

Gwadar Pro
May 15, 2023

ISLAMABAD (Gwadar Pro) Ministry of Planning said on Friday that the China Exhibition and Trading Center at Gwadar Port at a cost of US$ 12 million has been completed in a record time of six months.

The development under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) aims to transform Gwadar into a major commercial and economic hub, facilitate regional connectivity and expand Pakistan's maritime trade.

Strategically located on the Arabian Sea, Gwadar serves as Pakistan's largest deep-water port, offering a gateway to the Arabian Gulf, the Middle East and Central Asia. Gwadar holds great importance as a key component of CPEC and the wider Belt and Road Initiative.

The project was launched in November 2022 on the direction of Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal to promote business and related activities in Gwadar.

On the direction of the Minister of Planning, China Offshore Ports Handling Company (COPHCL) started the construction of the project which has been completed.

The Planning Minister further directed that the 3rd International Expo Gwadar be organized in June this year at the newly established Expo Center which coincides with the ten year celebrations of CPEC in July this year.

Gwadar's potential as an energy and transport corridor, along with its strategic location, makes it a focal point for international investment and economic cooperation, driving economic growth and regional integration.
Gwadar Food Street, amusement park, water sports, GDA club in the offing

May 21, 2023

GWADAR, May 21 (Gwadar Pro) - Under Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) has planned to develop "Food Street", "Amusement Theme Park", "Water Sports" and "GDA Club Complex" to transform Gwadar into a tourism hub in a bid to lay down the foundation of "modern tourism economy" on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

In order to materialize these projects, GDA has commenced official bidding process seeking formal applications from experienced national and international investors, entrepreneurs, consortiums, developers and business groups under Balochistan PPP Act 2021 and regulations.

A GDA official told Gwadar Pro that the last date for submission of documents is May 30. Mandatory requirements include 10 years' experience of similar business, official registration with respective regulatory authorities & institutions like SECP, PEC and Chambers, FBR tax credentials, registration with Balochistan Revenue Authority (BRA), he added.

The business friendly environment in Gwadar, he said, is ideal for businessmen for mentioned ventures, where GDA will facilitate the investors in provision of land for development, long term arrangement, fast track approvals under single window facility.

"As per the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, the West Bay - Western part of Gwadar, is dedicated for Recreational & Commercial activities. The spaces near West Bay are already in use for traditional Boat making, public space for youth, playing local sports, with the scenic view of West Bay & Koh-e-Batil making it one of the unique and vibrant landscape," he explained.

Ministry of Planning official said that the establishment of proposed Food Street, West Bay Gwadar on PPP Mode will also offer floating platforms & allied facilities for visitors in order to exploit the tourism potential, along this marine drive. Food Street not only enables tourists to feast on diverse cuisines but also offers a livelihood for thousands of low-income people, making a great contribution to the local economy, he added.

The amusement theme park, he said, will showcase some of the most beautiful, thrilling, and downright fun spots, mechanical rides and other recreational options to visit. Responding to a query, he said that having fused with local themes especially Pakistani culture, Balochistan history, Gwadar dynamics and ocean life, it will attract bulk of visitors.

Gwadar Chamber of Commerce and Industry office bearer said that as per conceptualization, the amusement theme park will be top-notch facilities like roller coasters, flat rides, carousels and dark rides. By incorporating whimsical architecture, color, landscaping, characters, and other elements, park visitors will become part of stories rather than passive passengers on mechanical rides, he added.

GDA Urban planner Tariq Rid said that Gwadar Water Sports have immense potential to catalyze tourism trends in Gwadar. With the construction of beach resorts and mesmerizing water fronts, water sports will open up new recreational vista for national and international tourists. GDA Club Complex equipped with gyms, sports gymnasiums, swimming pools and other leisure activities will also make a difference, he added.

Gwadar port starts its first-ever direct export to China​

By Fatima Javed | Gwadar Pro May 25, 2023

Gwadar port starts its first-ever direct export to China

GWADAR, May 25 (Gwadar Pro) - In a major development, Gwadar port started its first-ever direct export to China on May 24, as five containers carrying pharmaceutical raw materials left the Gwadar Free Zone for the Chinese port city of Tianjin, Hangeng Trading Company told Gwadar Pro.
The shipment will reach China within 30 days. Describing it as a major breakthrough, the company’s CEO Andy Liao said, “Starting from June, we will increase the volume of import and export goods. It’s a huge achievement and historical moment for Gwadar.”
Gwadar port starts its first-ever direct export to China

Gwadar Port leads the high-quality development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an important pilot project of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and one of the main platforms for deepening bilateral cooperation. “The direct exports will play a role in increasing remittances to Pakistan and improve Pakistan’s economy,” he said.
“More investors and companies will come to Pakistan after seeing easy export facilities between Pakistan and China. Our special thanks go to Customs and Terminal Corporation for their 5-star service,” Liao added.
According to the company’s trading manager Abdul Razzaq, 30 local workers from Gwadar were employed for the processing of pharmaceutical raw materials. He said that celebrations are going on in the Gwadar Free Zone and among all the stakeholders on this historical achievement.
Liao hoped and appealed that the State Bank of Pakistan can use Gwadar as a pilot park for RMB settlement as it will attract more investors to invest in Gwadar and also exports can bring foreign exchange, which is helpful for Pakistan's economic development.

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