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ISLAMABAD: The Gwadar Port in Pakistan, a key project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has become operational for container vessels, as it welcomed its first such ship on Wednesday local time, a milestone for the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative.

A Chinese container vessel, operated by China COSCO Shipping Corp, arrived at the deep sea port escorted by Pakistani Navy vessels. After loading frozen sea food, it departed for the Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates.

The development marked the start of a container cargo shipping service between Gwadar and several Middle Eastern ports, known as the Karachi Gwadar Gulf Express, which is the first container cargo shipping service between Gwadar and the Middle East, according to the report.

COSCO, which launched the Karachi Gwadar Gulf Express, will use the Karachi port, Jebel Ali port and other Emirati ports as transit ports to integrate the new shipping line into its 16 international routes and provide services for global clients, China Overseas Ports Holding Co, which manages Gwadar Port, said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Thursday.

"This is also the only shipping line in and out of Gwadar in the global shipping market. It means Gwadar will be connected to almost all major ports in the world and represents a big leap forward in the development of Gwadar," the statement read.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018

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