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Friday April 12, 2024

Pakistan, China boost ties with KCCDZ

The project, being built with an expected investment of $3.5 billion

By Our Correspondent
February 28, 2024
This image shows the flags of China (left) and Pakistan. — AFP
This image shows the flags of China (left) and Pakistan. — AFP   

LAHORE: Pakistan and China will strengthen their economic and industrial ties with the inclusion of the Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), experts said on Tuesday.

The Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) project, covering a total area of about 930 hectares, of which 640 hectares are reclaimed, will create four new berths for the Karachi Port Trust and a state-of-the-art fishing port with a world-class fisheries export processing zone.

The project, being built with an expected investment of $3.5 billion, will also help clean up marine habitats for fishermen and develop 20,000 low-income housing units.

Moazzam Ghurki, president of the Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), said the project will boost the country’s trade potential and attract global investors.

“The project will also build up the confidence of global investors towards the country and its entire ecosystem for providing and offering a lucrative environment to set up businesses and profit,” Ghurki said during a think tank session held at the chamber’s secretariat on Tuesday.

"Furthermore, it has the potential to boost industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China due to its proximity with Karachi, the financial hub of the country."

Fang Yulong, senior vice president of PCJCCI, termed the project a game-changer for Pakistan, saying it will bring Karachi on a par with developed port cities of the world.

“The KCCDZ is the first of its kind under the CPEC, which reflects the commitment of Pakistan and China to forge high-quality cooperation to improve people’s livelihoods,” Fang said.

"It will take Pakistan’s economy to the next level of prosperity by attracting foreign direct investment, generating employment and revenue, boosting exports and promoting regional and global connectivity."

Hamza Khalid, vice president of PCJCCI, said the project will also enhance the bilateral relations between China and Pakistan, who are all-weather strategic cooperative partners.

“China and Pakistan are stepping up cooperation in various sectors, giving impetus to the growth of economic and social development of the two countries,” Khalid said.

He said the KCCDZ is a 21st century modern project replete with the latest technologies, town planning, urban infrastructure, municipal amenities and environment-friendly marine development.

Colonel Ashraf Rana, chairman of the standing committee on human resources and finance of PCJCCI, said the project will also spur the country’s blue economy and exports.

“Fishing ports and fisheries export processing zones are critical to boost trade in fishing as coastal areas of Pakistan are rich in maritime trade, giving a way to promote the blue economy in Pakistan through infrastructure development and industrial cooperation in the said sector,” Rana said.