BEIJING, Nov 12 (INP): China Overseas Port Holding Co Ltd, the State-owned company which operates the Gwadar port in Pakistan, has got permission to set up a special economic zone spread over 152 hectares in the strategic deep-water seaport.
The land will be leased to the Chinese company for 43 years and the zone will have among other things a large exhibition center for showcasing Chinese and Pakistani products.
Gwadar, on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan, has strategic importance in terms of its location between South and Central Asia and the Middle East, sitting at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and close to several important sea routes like the Straits of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the global oil shipments pass.
As part of the agreement, the Chinese company, based in Hong Kong, will be in full charge of Gwadar Port, the third-largest port in Pakistan, the international airport and a sea area management company in Gwadar.
China is expected to invest $1.62 billion in the Gwadar project, including construction of an expressway linking the harbor and coastline, a rail link, breakwater and other nine projects expected to be completed in three to five years.
The Pakistan port will be jointly built by port infrastructure companies Zhuhai Port Holdings Group Co Ltd and China Overseas Port Holding.
The two Chinese companies will also work together on personnel training, route exploration, goods supply, logistics warehouse construction and an information platform.
Gwadar project is also at the end of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs about 3,000 kilometers from Gwadar to the northwestern Chinese city of Kashgar, a part of the ancient Silk Road linking Eurasia and Africa.
Experts said the land deal for the project will put economic cooperation between the two countries on the fast track and bolster China’s new trade initiative?the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Wang Shida, an expert on Afghanistan at the Beijing-based China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said China has already invested more than $40 billion for the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Gwadar Port will play an important role in the economic prosperity of both nations.
“I think it will provide win-win benefits for both sides. The Pakistani economy will gain from a large number of processing firms that will move to the Gwadar port. It will also boost exports from Pakistan. As for China, it will gain from cheaper oil imports from the Middle East and opportunities for Chinese companies to go global,” he said.
Chinese scholars laud Pakistan media role for CPEC development
Chinese scholars, during an international symposium, have lauded the positive news coverage by Pakistani Press that played a vital role in supporting the government’s efforts to speed up development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor- a major project of China’s One Belt One Road seeking regional economic integration.
Academics expressed these views while presenting their research works related to China’s One Belt One Road Initiative during one-day symposium organized by the Hebei University’s Research Centre for Social Development of Islamic Countries.
Local and foreign academics in the fields of media, philosophy, culture and international relations attended a seminar held yesterday at Beijing Language and Culture University in the capital city of China.
Academics hailing from China’s top class universities also proposed to establish the Research Think-Tank Union for ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative of China that seeks to boost connectivity for win-win cooperation countries along the ancient Silk Road.
The Seminar highlighted various aspects of ongoing projects and activities focusing on strengthening communication and cooperation along 36 countries of Silk Road having more than 3 billion populations.
Academics also urged the local and foreign media to enhance media coverage of the project that aims common prosperity and progress by boosting infrastructure development investment in the region full of natural and human resources.
Professor Bai Gui, chairman of the think tank said Union of Think- Tanks would work to strengthen academic cooperation with the local institutions of countries along Silk Road for joint projects in various areas of mutual interest.
Professor Cheng Manli, the director of its academic committee, stated that the foundation would be an important step contributing to the success of OBOR.
Envisaged by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) initiative aims at improving the economic, political and social relations between China and the countries and has been termed as a new vision for regional economic and cultural integration.