Gwadar port leased to Chinese company for 40 years, minister tells Senate

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said today Pakistan has handed over operations of its Gwadar port to a Chinese company for a period of 40 years.

The minister said China Overseas Port Holding Company would carry out all the development work on the port.

“China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) has 91 per cent share of revenue collection from gross revenue of terminal and marine operations and 85 per cent share from gross revenue of free zone operation,” he added.

Bizenjo said the provinces have no share in revenue collection as per the constitution.

Gwadar forms the southern Pakistan hub of a $57-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of infrastructure and energy projects Beijing announced in 2014.

Last year, Pakistan welcomed the first large shipment of Chinese goods at Gwadar, where the China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd took over operations in 2013. It plans to eventually handle 300 million to 400 million tonnes of cargo a year.

It also aims to develop seafood processing plants in a nearby free trade zone sprawled over 923 hectares (2,281 acres).

The route through Gwadar offers China its shortest path to the oil-rich Middle East, Africa, and most of the Western hemisphere, besides promising to open up remote, landlocked Xinjiang.

Last year, the Applied Economics Research Centre estimated the corridor would create 700,000 jobs in Pakistan and a Chinese newspaper recently put the number at more than two million.

 



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