Pakistan to hand over 2,281 acres of Gwadar’s free trade zone to Chinese

Published: November 10, 2015
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After the formal handover of the free trade zone, all business affairs of the port will be carried out by Chinese authorities. PHOTO: REUTERS

After the formal handover of the free trade zone, all business affairs of the port will be carried out by Chinese authorities. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

In a landmark ceremony, Pakistani authorities will formally hand over 2,281 acres of Gwadar Port’s free trade zone to the Chinese Oversees Ports Holding Company Ltd (COPHCL) on November 11 on a 43-year lease.

The ceremony will be held in Gwadar on Wednesday and will be attended by the Chinese delegation headed by Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaodao, who has already arrived in Pakistan.

Ripe for investment: Vast opportunities in AJK

The Chinese delegation comprises of all top level officials of the Chinese government and leaders of private companies. The Pakistani delegation will be led by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal.

The event will also be attended by Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik and Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michal, said a senior official of the ministry.The government has already declared Gwadar port a free trade zone for the next 23 years.

The officer said that in this regard, a high level meeting of both authorities will be held in Karachi on November 12 to complete the formalities.

COPHCL will execute the port’s affairs through its three main companies including Gwadar International Terminal (GIT), Gwadar Marine Services Ltd and Gwadar Freezone Company Ltd.

Grand scheme: Govt to spend Rs26b on Gwadar airport upgrade

GIT will also be responsible for the port’s operations by handling business related matters.

Gwadar Marine Service Ltd, will look at the port’s operation by providing allied services and Gwadar Freezone Company will look after affairs of the free zone area by developing and providing allied facilities to the investment companies in the free zone area.

After the formal handover of the free trade zone, all business affairs of the port will be carried out by Chinese authorities.

Grand scheme: Govt to spend Rs26b on Gwadar airport upgrade

The officer said that Pakistan has delivered its end of the bargain and now it is upto the Chinese authorities to show their commitment.

Additionally, during the ceremony, inauguration of some projects will also be held including inauguration of school and health centres established by the Chinese in Gwadar.

The scheme is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambitious $46 billion investment plan linking western China to the Arabian Sea with infrastructure, energy and transport projects.

Three days in Gwadar

Pakistan is also raising a special security force of between 10,000 and 25,000 men to protect the port.

Earlier, Abdul Razzaq Durrani, the director general of Gwadar Port Authority, had said that land acquisition to build the economic zone had cost the Balochistan government around $62 million.

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

Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Singh
    Nov 10, 2015 - 8:08AM

    It is amazing to watch, How country can celebrate its own sovereignty surrender. Next Gen will amuse about current leadership. Recommend

  • cheebz
    Nov 10, 2015 - 8:14AM

    is the land being given for free to the Chinese or we are going to receive yearly payments on the land… Recommend

  • fact is fact
    Nov 10, 2015 - 10:19AM

    @cheebz:
    @Singh:

    I guess you forgot the history of HongKong. It was given to UK by China and since then HK is one of the best places to work and make money in the world. This is a good opportunity for Pakistan to cash on things and make use of Gwadar like Dubai. Recommend

  • lol
    Nov 10, 2015 - 10:43AM

    @Singh:
    indians, insecure 24×7, always poking in our internal matters – kindly stick to the Kashmir issue. As for the port operations are concerned, many ports in India are also run by companies owned by other countries! do your research.Recommend

  • First step
    Nov 10, 2015 - 10:52AM

    Next step, march a million man army.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Nov 10, 2015 - 11:52AM

    @Singh:
    Pakistan is not only giving away Gwadar port and 2,281 acres near the port to China but Pakistan is also raising a special security force of 10,000 to 25,000 to protect the Chinese. As I said repeatedly, leaders and senior officials of all political parties as well as the army are giving away the country to Chinese. Army is supposed to protect the territorial integrity of the country. Here, army in collusion with politicians, is giving away its territory and also providing security to the occupants. Earlier, the same army gave away huge areas of G-B to China. Even after so many years, Pakistanis do not know what Pakistan got in return for giving away land to China. Pakistan’s army, that was supposed to protect the country gave away parts of the country to China without any approval or even a debate in the Parliament. The Parliamentarians have never asked the army regarding the conditions the land was given away to China, what Pakistan got in return, etc. What a patriotic army and how much patriotic are its political leaders!!!!!!
    In 1971 Pakistan gave away Bangladesh without fighting and 93,000 of its army surrendered with their weapons. Later to fight India, Pakistan gave away FAT, Waziristan and many areas to talibans. Now fearing or hating India, Pakistan is giving away most of Pakistan, its land and coasts, to China. Pakistanis are rejoicing on it !!!!!!Recommend

  • Fast
    Nov 10, 2015 - 12:15PM

    Lovely!!! Its progress time for Balochistan…Recommend

  • Usman Razzaq
    Nov 10, 2015 - 12:35PM

    @Singh: Jealousy is not a good habit. Pak China economic Corridor is the height of trust and friendship. The world will see the fruits of this friendship.
    This is English translation of Urdu proverb in Pakistan. “The faces of Jealous people’s turns black”. Recommend

  • khunshan
    Nov 10, 2015 - 12:49PM

    @singh

    What?

    What about Indians working for foreigners in UK and US? First you get freedom from them then you go and work for them like paid servents?

    What about US presence in UK, Germany and Turkey?

    True peaceful cooperative should be welcomed. And its a real inituative towards true globalization.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Nov 10, 2015 - 1:17PM

    I hear Indians singing…”Bad Bad boys, what you gonna do when they gonna come for you”Recommend

  • Dk
    Nov 10, 2015 - 2:02PM

    That’s how the East India Company got a foothold in IndiaRecommend

  • Saad
    Nov 10, 2015 - 2:43PM

    Can Pakistan do ANYTHING ??Recommend

  • Vectra
    Nov 10, 2015 - 2:50PM

    Meanwhile, India awards $5.6bn mega rail contracts to US’s General Electric ($2.6 Billion) and France’s Alstom ($3 Billion).
    The projects involve manufacturing of 1000 diesel locomotives from US and 800 electric locomotives from france over the next 11 years.

    Yesterday in Dubai Air Show, India’s Jet Airways signed $8.6 Billion jet deal with US’s Boeing for supply of 75 next generation 737 Max8 Planes.

    Last month or so also India’s Indigo Airlines signed $27 Billion jet deal with Airbus for supply of 250 Airbus Neo Planes.

    So who needs large nuclear weapon stockpiles,no one cares as long as the peoples lifestyle and standard of living continues to increase.India has very well understood this logic but pakistan not ready to even accept it.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Nov 10, 2015 - 4:15PM

    Before such decisions are taken approval should have been obtained by a vote passed by the Baluchistan Provincial Government, the Baluch being the main stake holders to whom the benefits of any projects on their land should accrue. What are the financial terms of the Lease should have been clearly spelled out too. Any Democracy must work like one rather than a Dictatorship where decisions are shoved down the throat of citizens.Recommend

  • ABC
    Nov 10, 2015 - 4:59PM

    @Vectra:

    So what? In other news other countries of the world has signed many deals. What it has to do with the current news? I knew your written skill are almost non existent but now it seems like you cant even read articles written in EnglishRecommend

  • hari
    Nov 10, 2015 - 4:59PM

    Not the first time in human history, to be slaves providing protection for the invaders!Recommend

  • LOL
    Nov 10, 2015 - 5:00PM

    @Vectra: If your lifestyle was so much better and you had a job, you wouldnt be spending 20 hours a day commenting about your country on Pak’s website.Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Nov 10, 2015 - 5:37PM

    we made karachi port into one of the best ports in the world from 50s to 80s, we made port qasim when we were a poor country in the 70s, then why is it that we can’t get one simple port to start for decades today? so much so that we have to officially surrender our land to the chinese so they can build it?Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Nov 10, 2015 - 6:37PM

    @LOL:
    There is something that you would not be aware of. Its called “office Internet”Recommend

  • Vectra
    Nov 10, 2015 - 7:00PM

    @LOL:
    Genius lifestyle doesn’t necessarily require having a job in your hand,people sitting at home are also earning.Btw is your definition of Job is going to office only???Recommend

  • Vectra
    Nov 10, 2015 - 7:03PM

    @ABC:
    as far as abc is concerned then you should be in harvard teaching students due to your exceptional english writing and comprehension skills.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Nov 10, 2015 - 7:10PM

    @Karachiite:
    *Then why is it that we can’t get one simple port to start for decades today? so much so that we have to officially surrender our land to the chinese so they can build it?*

    Simple, the Chinese asked for itRecommend

  • Vectra
    Nov 10, 2015 - 7:21PM

    @ABC:
    I have a news for you so that you can use your english to convince US Congress.Here it is:
    Pakistan’s Sindh has characteristics of an independent state: Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.
    Now enjoy,cheersRecommend

  • Raj - USA
    Nov 10, 2015 - 8:21PM

    If you think deep, it is not surprising. Not one leader of Pakistan and many Parliamentarians cannot be patriotic. They all live in constant fear of the army and expect to the jailed, hanged or sent to exile at any time. So, they keep all their properties abroad and are ready to leave the country in a moments notice. They hold dual citizenship have their families abroad, have their wealth abroad and also have all their businesses abroad. They all pay taxes in other countries but pay nothing in Pakistan. Pakistan’s then army chief charged Musharraf charged Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto as traitors of Pakistan and sent to exile with their whole family. Today, Nawaz Sharif is the Prime Minister and Zardari was the first civilian President of Pakistan ever to complete a full term. Zardari has left Pakistan now. During Musharraf’s time leaders of all three major political parties viz., PML-N, PPP and MQM were all in exile and Musharraf was ruling the country with Shaukat Aziz, a foreign national, as his Prime Minister. As soon as his term expired, Shaukat Aziz left Pakistan, never to return. Shaukat Aziz is today serving Indian business tycoon, Mittal. Pakistan’s former ISI chief, Gen. Pasha left to serve the arabs as soon as his term was over. Today, many of PPP leaders have left Pakistan.Recommend

  • C M Naim
    Nov 10, 2015 - 8:23PM

    Remind us what Pakistan gets out of this deal. The report only tell what China invested earlier. Who gets the monies generated by the port? Recommend

  • harkol
    Nov 10, 2015 - 8:57PM

    Reminds one of Mughal empire handing over Port of Calcutta & Principality of Bengal to British in 1757. India became a colony of British empure within next 100years.

    Those who don’t learn from history – repeat it.Recommend

  • Salman
    Nov 10, 2015 - 9:16PM

    @Fast:
    You think all this money will go to benefit the poor baluchis? I dont think so.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Nov 10, 2015 - 9:22PM

    Why is Pakistan handing over its territory to china for free is a headline news? Every one knows Pakistan and North korea is china’s best friend.Recommend

  • Charles
    Nov 10, 2015 - 9:35PM

    The scheme is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambitious $46 billion investment plan linking western China to the Arabian Sea with infrastructure, energy and transport projects.
    .
    One would think that if you were going to invest $46 Billion you would have enough money to buy 2 acres?
    .
    Not one newspaper in Pakistan has ever written an article which articulates CPEC – what projects, how much, who benefits, who pays. Why not? At least 3 power plants have been associated with CPEC and that alone would consume much of the $46 Billion … but none of those have anything to do with Gwadar or the infamous Silk Road. Pakistan has a history of corruption and starting major projects which go nowhere … lets hope the journalist shine some light on CPEC.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Nov 10, 2015 - 9:39PM

    Hopefully, India is watching this carefully. India has to learn a lot from Pakistan and China on how to deal with minorities,rogue journalists and anyone opposes growth planRecommend

  • Oats
    Nov 10, 2015 - 9:43PM

    @Karachiite: The Chinese are working with Pakistan to get the Port up and operational because it has been dragging on for decades. At any time, Pakistan can retake it but if it has a partner who is an international player like China, all the better. The fact that so many Indians are hear trying to belittle it, tells us how great this will be for Pakistan. In today’s world, regional economies have to form blocks and Pakistan is doing the necessary.Recommend

  • gemk
    Nov 10, 2015 - 9:59PM

    @Vectra:
    lol..from those who reported WMD in Iraq? :D Worry about your PM, my dear. Stop fretting about the problems in the neighborhood. Get your house in order and that would be it.Recommend

  • PrasadDeccani
    Nov 10, 2015 - 10:24PM

    @gemk:

    “from those who reported WMD in Iraq” — Isn’t this the scariest part of the report. Those guys ruined Irag in the name of WMD. Could you do anything to save your Ummah country? Same guys will now ruin Pakistan in the name of Sindh!!! Recommend

  • usman778
    Nov 10, 2015 - 10:57PM

    Pakistan is not giving away sovereignty but land for the Chinese to operate the port. They are investing 47 billion dollars in our country. Admittedly, we only have our location resource to offer and that is what we are capitalizing on.

    The fact of the matter is that Indians want us to roll over and die. That is TRULY what they want. Recommend

  • cautious
    Nov 10, 2015 - 11:34PM

    Looks like a Guantanamo deal – ask the Cuban’s how that worked out.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Nov 10, 2015 - 11:42PM

    Words got mixed up in my 2nd comment on politicians and army of Pakistan. But I am sure readers have understood what I wanted to say. What I meant to say was that many political leaders and parliamentarians cannot remain patriotic because of circumstances forced on them. Also, that many army generals are also not patriotic. Today, its former army chief Musharraf is facing treason charges. Recommend

  • kakay khan
    Nov 11, 2015 - 12:05AM

    @Salman:
    your thought process is irrelevant and absurdRecommend

  • Nov 11, 2015 - 1:48AM

    @fact is fact Now Hong-Kong is refusing to be part of China. Recommend

  • Roop Chandel
    Nov 11, 2015 - 2:00AM

    Great ideaRecommend

  • Nov 11, 2015 - 2:42AM

    so officially china is calling the shots on pakistans land now ,this is just the start i expect chinese to take more of pakistans land under there control in the near future Recommend

  • Komal S
    Nov 11, 2015 - 5:21AM

    Fact is Gwadar port hand over is a condition, China has put on Pakistan. In addition China has mandated that security is Pakistan’s responsibility, hence 20000+ soldiers (about 1 security personnel for every 2.25 million USD invested ) to protect Chinese investment. Chinese are great negotiators, they want to make sure their dollars are well spent, well protected. Pakistan hopefully will see trickle down effect of this investment. Giving away land to foreign interests in not new to Pakistan as it has given away large tracts of land to the Saudis, UAE folks in the past. Recommend

  • usman778
    Nov 11, 2015 - 5:29AM

    Raj no need for clarification all they way from USA.. i did not read your first comment.Recommend

  • Srinivas
    Nov 11, 2015 - 6:14AM

    Keep searching ways to get money from other countries..

    Selling mother land?Recommend

  • Singh
    Nov 11, 2015 - 7:18AM

    Actually it is good news for me. I can get visa easily from Chinese embassy to go there than Pakistani embassy to conduct some business.Recommend

  • 43 years of rent revenue to Pakistan
    Nov 14, 2015 - 1:06PM

    Aparently some Indians don’t know what a lease agreement is.Recommend

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