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March 21, 2015

Gwadar Port holds potential to facilitate foreign trade: official

Business

March 21, 2015

KARACHI: Gwadar port has huge potential to facilitate international trade and development of China-Pakistan economic corridor, said a top official at a Chinese firm on Friday.
Strategically located in proximity of major shipping routes emanating from the Gulf, Gwadar port and the corridor are important both for China and Pakistan, said Zeng Qingsong, chief executive officer at China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), speaking at a maritime discourse on “The Future of Gwadar” at Bahria University.
The moot was organised by the National Centre for Maritime Policy Research (NCMPR).
Comparing ports, Qingsong said the cargo load is up to 65,000 to 70,000 metric tons (MT) at Gwadar Port compared to 45,000 to 50,000 MT at Karachi Port and Port Qasim, according to the port parameter for vessels.
He said initially 1,200m container terminal with 300m long four berths will be developed at Gwadar port. Additional access channels will also be developed, while breakwaters be constructed.
There will be an expansion of multipurpose terminal to the east subject to commercial viability, he added.
Conversion of Gwadar fish harbour into a miniport and development of free zone is also part of the next phase development.
The catalyst projects include desalination plant and development of New Gwadar International Airport, Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG terminal and 300MW coal-fired power plant and construction of Gwadar East bay Expressway.
Qingsong said COPHC’s mission is to turn Gwadar port into a national gateway to Pakistan, a world-class maritime hub and a catalyst for economic development of the nation, driven by a team of experts delivering flexible innovative solution, exceptional customised services and dedicated safe operations and to grow from local port operator to one with a regional and then global presence.
He added that COPHC global approach is to create a local business environment where excellence, innovation and profitability drive core

business philosophy of exceptional customer service.
Asaf Humayun, director general Asaf Humayun at NCMPR, said Gwadar is inching towards its development at a slow pace and the entire nation desires to see the progress and prosperity at a much faster pace.
“Two things will actually determine how fast Gwadar can progress, one is security and the other is connectivity,” Humayun said.
He stressed on need to have due regard to the preservation of environment, which should be a part of all development work in Gwadar area.
DG said Gwadar port offers multidimensional advantages and will influence the geostrategic and economic environment in the region.
Various intellectuals, senior officers of Pakistan Navy, renowned stakeholders of maritime sector, marine scientists, students of maritime studies and many other dignitaries attended the session.

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