GWADAR: The Pakistani and Chinese investors at the first-ever global exhibition in Gwadar City are hopeful that Gwadar Expo 2018 will open new avenues for their businesses.
Over 100 companies are participating in the two-day exhibition, jointly organized by the China Ports Holding Company (COPHC) and Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) at the newly established Gwadar Free Zone.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday formally inaugurated the expo and first phase of Gwadar Free Zone – an important node of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The ceremony was attended by the representatives of Chinese government and other regional states.
The two-day conference and exhibition aimed at providing a platform for Pakistani and Chinese businessmen, already working on CPEC-related projects.
The industrial park, spread over 60 acres, also has a Business Centre, which will provide a one-window operation for matters including immigration, customs, visa operations and port clearance facilities.
The exhibitors include, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), Bank of China Ltd Pakistan Operations, Yulin Holdings, Amreli Steels, Lucky Cement, Habib Bank Limited and other small and medium enterprises.
The representative of largest Chinese bank, ICBC, Jack Zhao Jiaquan said we are already providing financial services to the companies working on CPEC projects and we intent to explore more opportunities for working with local firms.
There was a consensus among the participants that the event will promote the coastal city as emerging business hub and will provide a platform of interaction between local, regional and international business entrepreneurs.
Faisal Idrees of AM Developers, termed the exhibition historic and a step in the right direction. “Hundreds of foreign delegates are coming to attend the exhibition in the city. It will help change the perception about the once neglected province,” he said, adding that Gwadar can be declared as the safest city.
Pakistan’s major steel producer, Amreli Steels are already working on several CPEC projects and are looking to expand their networking with the Chinese companies.
Nagman Saim, a representative of Gwadar Fish Factory said that although we are exporting sea food to many Chinese cities but we believe that there is a huge potential for our products in international markets.
CCCC-FHDI Engineering Co, a subsidiary of CCCC, is the design firm that developed the port and the industrial zone in Gwadar. Li Tinghui of FHDI, the company working on Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, said that we are committed to change the lives of the locals for better.
Five agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding for strengthening collaboration between Gwadar and the Chinese port cities were also signed.
Agreements were signed declaring Pakistan’s Gwadar and China’s Tianjin as sister ports, and Gwadar and Piung as sister cities.
Another agreement was signed for close cooperation among Pakistan State Oil (PSO), GITL and Gwadar.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and China’s Free Trade Zone Company signed an Agreement for cooperation in their respective field.
Another Agreement was signed between Gwadar and HATA Trade City.
The MoU on Gwadar Poverty Alleviation Initiative was inked between Gwadar district government and China Overseas Ports Holding Company.