Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, stated on Monday that a $3 billion Chinese investment in a single project in the second phase of the Gwadar Port Free Zone would help create 30,000 employment.
After seeing the port and other CPEC-related developments, the retired army general spoke to the media in Gwadar. The port and the free zone, according to Lt-Gen (retd) Bajwa, would produce roughly $10 billion in economic activity if fully functioning.
“Soon after completion of the Gwadar Free Zone, a lot of manufacturing and trading activities will start; cargoes will move, and trans-shipment activities will increase,” he explained.
“We will continue to monitor the development work in Gwadar till all the projects become fully operational.,” he said.
He stated the China Port Holding business had completed the port’s infrastructure expansion at a cost of $300 million, announcing that all four berths were operational.
Over 67,000 metric tonnes of goods were processed at the port in the previous four months, he added, largely consignments under the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement that were afterwards transferred to Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, a ship carrying 8,000 cubic feet of liquefied petroleum gas was expected to arrive at the port, while another ship carrying 24,000 MT of DAP fertiliser and feed supplies for Afghanistan was expected to arrive from Australia, he said. According to Asim Bajwa, the port handling capacity had been developed, and the Customs system had been put in place to help investors and merchants.
“Now our full emphasis is to increase the port traffic for which we are pursuing the logistic companies to establish their offices in the city,” he said. As regards the Gwadar Port Free Zone, Asim Bajwa said its first phase spreading over 60 acres of land had already been completed, with 47 enterprises registered.
Bajwa stated six factories had been finished, three of which were completely operating, when asked about the port projects in detail. Six more are being built, he added, adding that the port and the free zone have contributed to the creation of 1,200 direct employment.
He said that 12,000 employees had been engaged to construct the port’s supporting infrastructure.
According to Asim Bajwa, the second phase of the Gwadar Port Free Zone would include 2,221 acres of land, and Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone.
He said that the China Port Holding Company had already secured a second-phase investor, who would need 1,600 acres of property. The investor had promised a $3 billion direct investment in a single business that would generate 30,000 employment.
Asim Bajwa pointed out, the Eastbay Expressway would transport goods straight from the port to M-8, where it would be sent to Karachi and the rest of Pakistan.
He said that 94 percent of the construction on the road had been done and that it will be launched in September. Similarly, he said that construction on Gwadar Airport was progressing at a rapid speed, and that the city’s technical and vocational colleges will be finished in October.
He said that the prime minister had particularly ordered the development of as many work possibilities as possible in the region, as well as the capacity development of local youngsters via skill training.
The CPEC chairwoman expressed gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping, stating that his “gift” of a 150-bed hospital was already being built near the port.
He said that Gwadar City’s master plan had also been approved and was currently in the execution stage.