Gwadar port to be operational by 2017: Chinese official

By AFP
Published: April 12, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

GWADAR: A multi-million dollar port being developed by China in Pakistan is set to be at “full operation” by the end of the year, a Chinese official said Tuesday, part of Beijing’s ambitious economic plans in the region.

Gwadar port, on Pakistan’s southwest coast, will see roughly one million tonnes of cargo going through it by 2017, said Zhang Baozhong, chairman of the Chinese public company in charge of the development.

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Current trade there is “basically nothing”, he told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar about the port’s development Tuesday.

“We hope a big jump will take place… Our dream is to make Gwadar a regional trading centre,” he said.

Gwadar, in Balochistan province, forms what officials call the “heart” of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a grand $46 billion project giving Beijing greater access to the Middle East, Africa and Europe through Pakistan.

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The port was built in 2007 with technical help from Beijing as well as Chinese financial assistance of about $248 million.

Zhang said the tonnage will initially comprise “quite a number” of construction materials for the city’s development, which Pakistani officials envision turning into another Dubai.

Exports will at first focus on the local fishing industry, he said, with a modern processing plant planned for the area, though he would not give a timeline for the plant.

Chinese delegation inaugurates Gwadar Port Free Zone

“We shall try to process it here… So that the locals can benefit,” he told reporters after the seminar.

Desperately poor Balochistan has been roiled since 2004 by a separatist insurgency aimed at seeking greater control over the province’s resources.

Some Baloch nationalists have accused the Chinese of conspiring with the Pakistani elite to plunder the province while doing little to share profits and create jobs for local people.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Faisal
    Apr 12, 2016 - 5:09PM

    This is great announcement, good to see Pakistan progress. Great Job PM. While others are still in the process of agitaiton.Recommend

  • Sarmad Baloch
    Apr 12, 2016 - 7:14PM

    @faisal.
    Seems world not care for “their” agitationRecommend

  • Usman
    Apr 12, 2016 - 7:29PM

    @Faisal: The PM has nothing to do with this. The Chinese needed it, the Chinese built it. PM only took his cut, and his friends took theirs. PM had the chance to include FATA, KPK and Balochistan into mainstream Pakistan, but he opted to develop routes through his lands in Punjab. That’s what the PM did. Agitation is justified.Recommend

  • ibs
    Apr 12, 2016 - 7:33PM

    Great news for the region!Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Apr 12, 2016 - 7:53PM

    China is desperate, worried and frightened A cornered person usually reacts on these lines. He may be courageous or could be a coward too. However, one who is courageous and knows tht he has the capability will not react like this.

    Just recently, PAF second-in-command said that the military operations against terrorists is not going to end in the near future. Read this:
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1080502/pakistan-wants-air-force-upgrade-for-prolonged-militant-fight/

    Panama leaks will not only expose the political families but will also expose many army generals. What will happen then is very much uncertain. Read this recent article in ET:
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1081324/should-the-pm-resign/
    The author also says:
    “While the Panama Leaks reveal the Sharif family, leaks from Dubai, Cayman Islands, London and elsewhere may reveal many other politicians, military generals and so on.”

    China getting control of Gwadar port will leave no options to USA, India, and others in the region but to separate Baluchistan from Pakistan which will have the domino effect of separating G-B, AJK, Karachi and FATA also from Pakistan. Pakistan is becoming a kurbani bakra.

    PS: I watched a video that shows a sheep submitting itself to be slaughtered and it reminds me of Pakistan willing to be slaughtered for China. Here is the video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO6-i8NLbeoRecommend

  • woz ahmed
    Apr 12, 2016 - 10:38PM

    @Faisal:
    agitaiton ?Recommend

  • NHA
    Apr 12, 2016 - 10:43PM

    There is need to shield this epoch -making project from agitators and political actors. A broad-based group of citizens who believe in the utility and desireability of the project should come together and provide moral and practical support to Govt. and federal and provimvial departmnets and agencies working on it.

    Civil society support is always crucial for success of ambitious project like the CPEC and Gawader.

    Shall we come togehter and protect this project from harm by hostile forces. Recommend

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