With hope, Chinese-run Gwadar Port set to operate

Published: April 12, 2015
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The port authorities acquired possession of 2,231 acres of land at the beginning of the year from Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guard for establishing free-trade zones. PHOTO: AFP

The port authorities acquired possession of 2,231 acres of land at the beginning of the year from Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guard for establishing free-trade zones. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

The Chinese-run Gwadar deep-sea port will commence operation formally from this month, starting with fish exports to Gulf countries, said Gwadar Port Managing Director (MD) Dostain Khan Jamaldini.

“The first commercial ship will dock at the port and a new ship lane will be in operation thereafter,” said the MD. “Our target is to make the port fully operational this year.”

The port authorities acquired possession of 2,231 acres of land at the beginning of the year from Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guard for establishing free-trade zones.

The ECC also approved a 23-year tax holiday for Gwadar Port in an attempt to make it a commercial hub by attracting investors.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is scheduled to visit Pakistan this month, is also expected to discuss port-related issues and sign a number of agreements in this regard.

Jamaldini further informed that infrastructure development at the port was in final stages, while work was in full swing to establish free-trade zones, where a large number of national and international companies have started setting up business centres.

“After the completion of the northern portion of the M-8, shipping containers will not come to Karachi from Gwadar, but would go directly to the northern parts of the country via Uttal, Khuzdar and Sukkur,” he said. The construction of this route will save 400km distance, since at present, the shipping containers go from Gwadar via Uttal, Karachi, Hyderabad and then to Sukkur.

According to Jamaldini, Chinese authorities were almost done with their planning exercise and had shared their plan with port authorities.

“Exhibition and expo-centres will be established at the free-trade zones to display national and international products. The companies showcasing their products at these centres will be bound to use the port to export their products,” he added.

He also informed that a large number of national and international companies had shown interest in establishing their business centres at the free-trade zones.

“A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Gwadar Port Authority and the mayor of Chinese city Zhuhai. The two parties will shortly sign another agreement to use each other’s ports for commercial purposes for ten years,” he said. “Besides using the port, Zhuhai port authorities would also train the Gwadar port staff.”

Last year, only 2.99 million tons of business was undertaken through the Gwadar port as compared to 64.57 million tons from Karachi port and 41.44 million tons from Port Qasim.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Asad Khan
    Apr 12, 2015 - 2:13PM

    Long Live Pak China Friendship.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 12, 2015 - 3:32PM

    How many times will the Gwadar Port be opened for commercial shipping ?……..this has already happened…….and it will happen again and again as a political stunt, until a proper infrastructure network linking the port to the rest of the country is not set up.Recommend

  • Another citizen
    Apr 12, 2015 - 4:29PM

    Thank you “Pasha” :)
    The unsung hero and declared villainRecommend

  • Asad Khan
    Apr 12, 2015 - 4:30PM

    @Parvez:

    How many times will the Gwadar Port be opened for commercial shipping ?……..this has already happened…….and it will happen again and again as a political stunt, until a proper infrastructure network linking the port to the rest of the country is not set up.

    Technically any port which has a single birth to anchor, a crane and a connecting road is an operational port. The issue always been with Gwadar is how to maximize the full potential of that port. One can have deep connecting channel, deep births, good roads & cranes but if it does not have the Free Trade Zones, storage yards, businesses outlets, hotels, showrooms not to mention skilled labour then it always remain to be patchy and yield less profit.

    Before Gwadar was transferred to Chinese, initially a Singaporean firm runs the Gwadar port, but the whole Gwadar city was plotted / sectored and the planners leave no room for Port Authority & Free Trade Zones, (aka poor planning) the Singaporeans were reluctant to buy the land from market at hefty prices and the Naval guys were reluctant to share their land to a Singaporean firm. Once the Chinese came in they sat down, planned alot, taken input from Pak and then finalized. The Chinese President visit is just to give more publicity to the already agreed mega plan for Gwadar.

    Hope I’ve explained better.

    regards,Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Apr 12, 2015 - 9:58PM

    The port has been operational since 2008 dealing in import of bulk wheat and thereafter urea for the government of Pakistan. I think what the author is trying to communicate here is that it’ll be formally starting it’s first ‘commercial’ cargo operation which in this case is most likely going to be export of fish or in the broader context containerized cargo.Recommend

  • Ali asghar
    Apr 13, 2015 - 12:52PM

    Gwadar has been often misconceived because of its location in the province of Baluchistan. Majority of the people commenting and sharing their reviews do not know the ground realities as they have never been to Gwadar nor they know the real conditions of the city currently. I truly believe that it is going to be a game changer for the whole country and everyone will benefit from it. Just for a few people funded by the enemies of Pakistan have a negative approach towards this mega project.Recommend

  • Ahmed Salman
    Apr 13, 2015 - 1:31PM

    @Another citizen:
    The one who released Raymond Davis ? Abbottabad operation fame ?Recommend

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