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KARACHI: On the 13th of October 2021, the ever-largest transit shipment of 32,000 tons destined for Afghanistan having DAP fertilizer, arrived on bulk vessel MV Discovery at Gwadar port. This is the 7th consecutive shipment since Gwadar Port permitted to do this business last year.

This development reflects the satisfaction of our client for the services and infrastructure by the Port operator and the keen interest of stakeholders to support economic development in Pakistan and in the region.

The Gwadar Port & Free Zone enjoys its significant geographical superiority due to its proximity to vital node of international trade. Due to its unique geographical position makes it a fast-economical link between land-locked central Asian states and to the rest of the country. Being a Worm Water Natural Deep-Sea Port and its strategic location; Gwadar port on its path to be a gateway & hub of world businesses & trades and catering for all types of International commercial activities generated from one business to another, irrespective of quantity, quantum & magnitude with a vision of being Pakistan's preferred & responsible maritime gateway.

China Overseas Ports Holding Company (Pvt) Ltd (COPHC) the concession holder has invested comprehensively to renovate, rehabilitate and install the port facilities, Free zone development, surrounding environment and relevant commercial businesses at Port &Free zone.

Gwadar port provides a feasible and economical route for trade with Central Asian landlocked states which are rich in natural resources. It is considered as a key in the revival of Pakistan's economy as it will function as a hub of trade activities of the region. Pakistan can improve its foreign exchange reserves through transit fee.

Gwadar International Terminals Limited (GITL) has worked together with Pakistan Customs (transit trade directorate), Customs Bonded Carriers' Association, Customs Clearing Agents and relevant security agencies to enable the port to excel and transform Gwadar into a preferred port of call to support the high trade volumes in the region.

Port is now connected with most of up-country's destinations by road with sufficient availability of bonded carriers, logistic companies and vast yard storage facility; tailored to the individual needs of various cargoes. Gwadar port is expected to add new cargo movements (import of more bulk commodities like coal, wheat, sugar & steal, import of LNG and transported through virtual pipeline, export of clinkers etc.) to increase its cargo handling capacity in millions of tons by 2025, this will help in earning foreign exchange and will generate many local jobs through various business-related activities and will also substantially earn a much-needed foreign exchange which country direly need at present. As global corporate citizens COPHC aspires towards a fair, inclusive, and caring society - one where locals and people of all backgrounds have access to opportunities and where everyone can look to the future with optimism.

Despite ongoing impact of Covid-19 and many challenges we faced during the year 2020-21 the management of GITL proudly take this opportunity to mention the significant developments the port has witnessed during this year, this includes; the first international transshipment of Bulk and containerized cargo, Afghan transit trade of containerized and Bulk cargo, LPG imports etc. Now Gwadar port is all set to become the hub of international transshipment which will help the country in earning much needed foreign exchange in near future which also is in line with the vision of Prime Minster of Pakistan to launch first-ever transshipment policy to promote regional economic integration.

We appreciate Prime Minster Imran Khan vision of emerging Pakistan and his commitment towards development of Gwadar which helped us to resolved major bottlenecks.

PM office is focussed for provision of basic amenities including water, Gas and electricity to encourage industrialization in Gwadar. PM frequent visits to Gwadar shows his commitment towards the development of Gwadar and CPEC related projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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