by Cheng Xizhong
BEIJING, Jan. 14 (China Economic Net) – On January 6, President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi visited Gwadar and underlined the need to utilize Gwadar Port free zone area for transit trade with regional countries including Afghanistan.
At a briefing on progress work about the master plan of Gwadar City and operationalization of Gwadar Port, the president said that the speedy flow of traffic at Gwadar Port must be ensured. He urged the authorities to accelerate development activities and remove all hindrances in this regard through consensus-building and consultation with the relevant stakeholders. He particularly thanked the Chinese Government for constructing state-of-the-art China Business Centre (CBC) in Gwadar.
President Dr. Arif Alvi’s visit has fully demonstrated that the Pakistani leadership attaches great importance to continuously promoting the construction of Gwadar Port, a shining pearl of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
To speed up the construction of the related projects in Gwadar Port, relevant departments of China and Pakistan held the fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) through video link on November 30, 2020, in which both sides reviewed progress on projects related to Gwadar Port, road and air infrastructure, provision of water supply and sanitation facilities.
Since early 2020, China and Pakistan have jointly strived to overcome the impact of novel coronavirus pneumonia and promote the stable and healthy construction and operation of the series projects in Gwadar.
Relevant Chinese enterprises have undertaken an enormous amount of work in the fields of joint operations against the pandemic and social livelihood, and won wide acclaim and appreciation from all walks of life in Gwadar. Gwadar Port has become a bright spot of successfully balancing pandemic prevention and project construction during the CPEC development in 2020.
Now in Gwadar Port, five container cranes have been added. A stack yard of 100,000 square meters has been built. The seawater desalination equipment and container scanning devices have been added, and the port function has been fully restored. At the moment, the terminal can accommodate two 50,000 DWT freighters at the same time, and can handle bulk cargo, container and roll on-roll off cargo, with full operation capacity.
The development of Gwadar Port is forcefully driving the economic development of Balochistan and even Pakistan as a whole. Moreover, Gwadar Port will become the nearest sea port for Afghanistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian inland countries, and become a regional logistics and shipping center. Gwadar Port will also become an important logistics, trade, emerging industries, science and technology, culture and education center in southwest Pakistan.
Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law，Senior Fellow of the Charhar Institute, former Defense Attache in South Asian countries.
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