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August 8, 2020

‘No or least displacement for Gwadar Port City development’

National

August 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa said on Friday that there would be no or least displacement for purpose of Gwadar Port City development and now dividends of CPEC would be shared with people of Pakistan.

“We are working for development of Southern Balochistan as Gwadar Port will be connected to bring prosperity for Balochistan. The development agreement for Rashakai’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be signed in third week of ongoing month,” Asim Saleem Bajwa said in online webinar titled Gwadar Port and its role in prosperity of Balochistan and Regional Connectivity organised by SDPI here on Friday.

Asim Saleem Bajwa dispelled the impression that the CPEC has slowed down and stated that the second phase of CPEC would pick up where dividends of the CPEC would be reaped by people of Pakistan through creation of more job opportunities.

He said that three years ago Gwadar was just like desert and then he witnessed one of the fastest development in this part of the globe. He said that the transit trade was diverting towards Gwadar Port and now more investors were showing their interest for investing into Gwadar Free Economic Zone. He said that the government was making plans for converting it into Gwadar Economic District of Balochistan. He said that the government wanted to see development for southern Balochistan where Gwadar and Khuzdar region could get the dividends of connectivity.

Prime Minister Imran Khan constituted special committee for bringing development for Southern Balochistan where people could participate into inclusive development. He said the government would incentivise fisheries sector in Balochistan. To a query, he replied that there was no security issue related to CPEC projects and its fool proof security would be ensured.

China’s Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing said that the CPEC would not only provide bilateral connectivity but it would also connect regional countries for reaping the benefits of multi-billion projects. He said that it would connect western Asia, Central Asia and western part of China so its benefits would be immense for whole region.

When asked about possibility of converting Iran-Pakistan and India (IPI) gas pipeline into Iran-Pakistan and China gas pipeline, the ambassador replied that everything was possible if regional connectivity was developed and strengthened. He said that he did not see possibility in this regard as yet.

He said that Qatar and Afghanistan wanted to become part of CPEC projects. The upcoming SEZs, he said, would be opened for all countries and joint ventures would be offered to all companies across the globe.

To another question regarding comparing Gwadar with Sri Lankan port project, he replied that Gwadar was commercial project and its success would be ensured so there was nothing to worry about it.

When asked about possibility of Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan, the ambassador replied that the president was supposed to visit Pakistan in first half of the current calendar year but it could not happen because of COVID-19 pandemic but his visit was very much part and would be finalised with mutual consultation.

China’s Overseas Port Holding Company’s CEO Zhao Baoz said that Gwadar port made operation and it did not suspended because of COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the transit trade, import of DAP Fertilizer and LPG continued. In free economic zone, he said four plants and workshop were under construction and 12 more investors registered with us.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director General China Muddassar said on the occasion that next five to 10 years would realise real potential of Gwadar Port. With $8 to $10 trillion investment under BRI, there will be enormous economic push for whole Asia, Africa and many other parts of our globe.