ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan and China have greatly expanded the economic dimension of their relationship as a key priority. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a flagship initiative in this regard which would speed up economic cooperation and connectivity, he said in an interview with CCTV NEWS of China. Regarding the role of the Gwadar Port, he said that the port had the potential of becoming an energy transportation hub due to its proximity to Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping route. Currently, he said, the goods and energy transportation for China goes through the Straits of Malacca which raises the cost of transportation in addition of poses security challenges due to being a longer route. Gwadar Port will help reduce distance of 6,000 km for China. Approximately on average it takes 45 days for a ship starting from the Middle East or Africa to reach Chinese ports in addition to local transportation.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.