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Tuesday Jun 01 2021
By
Web Desk

$3bn Chinese investment in Gwadar Port Free Zone to create 30,000 jobs: Asim Bajwa

By
Web Desk
A picture of the Gwadar Port Free Zone. Photo: AFP

  • $3bn Chinese investment in a single project in Gwadar Port Free Zone will create 30,000 jobs, says Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa. 
  • All four berths of the Gwadar Port are fully operational, he says. 
  • During the last few months, over 67,000 metric tons of cargo had been handled at the port. 


GWADAR: CPEC Authority Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa on Monday said $3 billion Chinese investment in a single project in the second phase of the Gwadar Port Free Zone will help generate 30,000 jobs.

The retired army general was speaking to the media in Gwadar after he reviewed the port and other CPEC-related projects. Lt-Gen (retd) Bajwa said once fully operational, the port and the free zone will help generate economic activities of around $10bn.

"Soon after completion of the Gwadar Free Zone, a lot of manufacturing and trading activities will start; cargoes will move, and trans-shipment activities will increase," he explained.

“We will continue to monitor the development work in Gwadar till all the projects become fully operational.," he said.

Announcing that all four berths of the port were operational, he said the Gwadar port's infrastructural development had been carried out by the China Port Holding company at a cost of $300mn.

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 of liquefied petroleum gas was due at the port on Tuesday, while another ship with 24,000 MT of DAP (diammonium phosphate) fertiliser 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 investors and traders, Asim Bajwa said.

“Now our full emphasis is to increase the port traffic for which we are pursuing the logistic companies to establish their offices in the city,” he said. As regards the Gwadar Port Free Zone, Asim Bajwa said its first phase spreading over 60 acres of land had already been completed, with 47 enterprises registered.

Job opportunities at Gwadar Port Free Zone

Going into details about the projects related to the port, Bajwa said six factories had been completed out of which three were fully operational. He said six others were being constructed, adding that the port and the free zone had helped create 1,200 direct jobs.

He said 12,000 people had been hired to build the supporting infrastructure of the port.

Asim Bajwa 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 groundbreaking.

He said the China Port Holding Company had already lined up an investor for the second phase, who would need some 1,600 acres of land. The investor had pledged a direct investment of $3 billion in the single industry that would create 30,000 jobs.

Asim Bajwa pointed out that the Eastbay Expressway would directly take the cargo from port to M-8 for onward shipment to Karachi and the rest of the country.

He revealed that an estimated 94% of work on the expressway had been completed, which would hopefully be inaugurated in September. Similarly, he said, the work on Gwadar Airport was also going on at a fast pace while the technical and vocational institutes in the city would also be completed in October.

He said the prime minister had specifically ordered for creating maximum job opportunities in the area, with capacity building of the local youth by imparting them skill training.

The CPEC chairperson thanked the Chinese president, saying that his "gift" of a 150-bed hospital was already under construction at the port.

He said the master plan of Gwadar City had also been approved, and it was now at the implementation stage.