Quetta: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority chief Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) has said that the China Port Holding Company had lined up a Chinese investor for the Gwadar Free Zone’s second phase who has pledged a direct investment of US $ 3 billion in the single industry and create 30,000 jobs.
The investor, he said, who would need some 1600 acres of land. “The investor had pledged a direct investment of US $ 3 billion in the single industry that would create 30,000 jobs. The China Port Holding has already spent around US $300 million in the Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone,” he added.
Bajwa predicted that the Gwadar Port will usher in new eras of economic development in the country. He said the Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone would generate economic activities of around US $10 billion per annum on becoming fully operational.
“These projects will create thousands of new jobs. Soon after completion of the Gwadar Free Zone, a lot of manufacturing and trading activities will start, cargoes will move, and transshipment activities will increase,” he said.
Bajwa said the port’s infrastructural work had been completed by the China Port Holding Company. “Gwadar Free Zone phase one covers 60 acres while preparations for Gwadar Free Phase two are underway,” he said while speaking at a news conference here after a visit to examine the pace of work at the CPEC projects.
The CPEC Authority chief said the second phase of Gwadar Port Free Zone would spread over 2,221 acres of land and Prime Minister Imran Khan would perform its ground breaking.
The CPEC Authority chief said that Gwadar port had been made fully operational. The online bookings could be made to deliver goods from Hayab Gwadar Port goods, saying that 24,000-tonne ship from Australia would be anchored the day after tomorrow. However, Gwadar Pehnchano ship would carry Afghan transit trade goods, he added.
He further said 97 percent of Gwadar Expressway had been completed. He also visited New Gwadar Airport and reviewed works saying that Gwadar Master Plan had been approved.
Bajwa said 12000 jobs would be provided to local people in two and half years, which would help to decrease the poverty line in the area. He said a new hospital was being established under China’s contribution to providing health facilities.
During his visit to the port, he said that it handled around 67,000 metric tons of cargo, mostly Afghan- Transit trade, during the last few months.
He said during the last few months, over 67,000 metric tons of cargo had been handled at the port, comprising consignments mostly under the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, which were later transported to Afghanistan.
A vessel carrying 8,000 cubic feet liquefied petroleum gas was due at the port on Tuesday, while another ship with 24,000 MT of DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) fertilizer and Feed cargo for Afghanistan would arrive here from Australia, he added.
They had built the port handling capacity, while the Customs system was also in place to facilitate the investors and traders, Bajwa said.
The CPEC Authority chairman said an online facility to book cargo at Gwadar Port was also available, adding that master plan for Balochistan’s city had also been approved.
He said the development of agriculture sector was a key area of focus under CPEC. In that regard, he said, he held a meeting with the agriculture community from Mirani and other areas of the province.
“Six Chinese companies are ready to sign lease agreements for 32,500 acres of land, on which they would develop a unique model of corporate farming,” he maintained.