ISLAMABAD: The Gwadar port has been operationalised for export, Adviser to Prime Minister on Trade and Industries Abdul Razak Dawood announced on Saturday, saying that it would reduce the burden on the Karachi port.
Dawood said on the microblogging website Twitter that the departure of a vessel, carrying three fish containers worth $50,000 each, for a Far-Eastern country started the seafood exports through Gwadar port.
“Big News: Gwadar becomes operational for Exports! Seafood export, in reefer containers, using WeBOC [web-based one customs] system, started on 19 Nov 2019 through COSCO's [China Ocean Shipping Company] KGS [Karachi-Gwadar-Gulf Service] service,” he said in a tweet.
“The vessel loaded 3 containers of fish for Far Eastern ports. Avg value of the cargo is $50,000/container. This wud reduce time taken for trading across borders & also reduce port congestion at Karachi,” the adviser added in his tweet.
The Gwadar port is a deep seaport on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan. The port features prominently in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and is considered to be an important link to China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The Gwadar port has already been included in the transit rules framed under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement 2010. Last week, the government formed a committee to draft transit and trans-shipment rules as part of the port’s development.
The container line service of COSCO Shipping Line is an integral part of the CPEC project which connects Afghanistan, the Central Asian states and western China. In September, the first container line service between Karachi, Gwadar and the Gulf was successfully initiated.
“Since the initiation of KGS, Gwadar Port has operationally connected with the world’s seaports,” COSCO had said in a statement at that time. “Gwadar port is targeting the large untapped market of coastal trade between national seaports, Afghan Transit Trade (ATT), regional trans-shipments and exports and imports.”
According to COSCO, trade of multiple commodities from Balochistan, especially seafood, fruits, vegetables, marble, minerals, and many other locally available commodities would benefit the local market of Gwadar and areas in its close proximity.