At least 30 companies in various business sectors, like hotels, banks, logistics and fish processing, have entered the special economic zone with direct investment of about $474 million, Gwadar Port Authority Chairperson Dostain Khan Jamaldini told CGTN.
“The multi-million dollar Gwadar port is now operational,” he said. “The port is expected to see one million tons of cargo going through it.”
A special economic zone is an area where business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country. Areas are designated as special economic zones to increase trade, increase investment and boost job creation.
The port was developed as a part of CPEC at a cost of $1.62 billion. The aim of the project was to link northern Pakistan and western China to the deep water seaport. CPEC became the flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which was announced five years ago.
“Gwadar is known as the ‘heart’ of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and many believe the rising city will bridge Pakistan with the rest of world,” said Jamaldini.
The first phase of Gwadar’s free economic zone has already been inaugurated. “The Gwadar port connectivity, collection area and production area are almost ready,” he said. “We are receiving ships from COSCO, one of the largest companies in the world, every week.”
The port authority chairperson said he hopes that with the start of industrial production in the special economic zone, the number of ships frequenting the port will increase.