Strategic location: Foreign investors flocking to Gwadar port

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Gwadar Port, Investment, strategy,
Three state, four private sector delegations visited deep seaport in 2014. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Gwadar deep seaport has been a place of interest for national and foreign investors, particularly from China and Central Asian states, in the outgoing year.

In 2014, four high-level delegations of private investors and three government delegations from China have visited the strategically located port, according to documents available withThe Express Tribune.

Gwadar port is situated at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes for two-thirds of the world oil supply.

According to details, China’s vice premier led a team of senior Chinese officials, including the director general of the National Development and Reforms Commission and infrastructure experts, for chalking out plans for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and infrastructure projects for Gwadar.

A team from the Guangdong Logistics Industry Association (GLIA), led by its secretary general, visited the Gwadar port and apprised the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) that they were interested in opening a display of more than 50,000 Chinese products at the port.

The proposed display centre will be established on 25 acres of land. The proposal is currently being negotiated between the GPA and GLIA, who have agreed in principle to consider this unique trade and commerce initiative at the port. The team leader also apprised the GPA of establishing a marine silk route between Guandong and Gwadar via sea.

Another delegation of senior Chinese officials visited Gwadar with an offer of setting up a steel mill.

The director of the National Development and Reform Commission, Hebi province, and the mayor of Wuhan city led a team of the Investment and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) and iron and steel investors with an interest to construct a steel mill in Gwadar.

The ICBC has sent two missions to Gwadar with the last one in October. The Chinese investors have now agreed on the proposed site for the steel mill in the Gwadar industrial zone operated by the Balochistan government. The Chinese investors are also exploring different businesses in the Gwadar port duty-free zone.

During the year, the Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through Pakistan’s foreign ministry, expressed their interest to set up wheat grain silos at the Gwadar port. The GPA and Chinese Overseas Port Holding Companies (COPHC), in principle, have consented to this proposal.

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