Gwadar: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday formally inaugurated the first phase of Gwadar Free Zone – an important node of China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The Prime Minister opened the Free Zone at a special ceremony held at the Gwadar Port, attended by the representatives of Chinese government and other regional states. The Prime Minister along the Chief Minister, the CJSCS, President AJK and others jointly pressed a large button to unfurl a huge red and green banner, covering the front gate of economic free zone, amidst a huge applause of Pakistani and Chinese nationals, gathered at the historic event. The Prime Minister also opened the Gwadar Expo 2018 – the two-day conference and exhibition aimed at providing a platform for Pakistani and Chinese businessmen, already working on CPEC-related projects.
The Prime Minister visited different sections of the Free Zone, Business Centre and the Exhibition, Hall showcasing over 100 stalls by the companies. Spread over 60 acres, Gwadar Free Zone will be operated by China Overseas Port Holding Company, which has also set up a Business Centre for handling of operations. The Business Centre will provide a one-window operation for matters including immigration, customs, visa operations and port clearance facilities.
The South Area of the Free Zone (Phase I) will develop a commercial logistics zone with the leading functions of commodity exhibition, transit and distribution, relying on the existing port, as well as fishery processing. Processing and manufacturing areas will be developed in the North Area and divided into three construction phases. Daily necessities and small household appliances, fishery, stone processing, machinery manufacturing and metal processing are the main introduced industries. The Free Zone will adopt tax exemption policy in the development of bonded logistics.
President AJK Masood Khan, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Maritime Affairs Minister Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Special Assistant to PM Musaddiq Malik, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) Zhang Baozhong, Chairman Gwadar Port Authority Dostain Khan Jamaldini and China’s ambassador Yao Jing were present besides businessmen of 93 leading companies of Pakistan and China.