Gwadar will create 47,000 employment opportunities for locals; Chairman COPHC

The COPHC and it's four subsidiaries will be operating the Gwadar seaport and its economic zones for a period of 23 years.

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  •  “I believe Gwadar will be the largest contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in seven years,” says Zhang Baozhong.                                                                The COPHC and it’s four subsidiaries will be operating the Gwadar seaport and its economic zones for a period of 23 years.                                                                 
CPEC_Gwadar_port
Image courtesy CPEC Info.

Chinese operators of the Gwadar Port and its special economic zones have pledged to make it the largest contributor in Pakistan’s total GDP within the next 7 years. They also said that 47,000 more jobs will be created for locals with the new investment worth billions of dollars.

Zhang Baozhong the Chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Company Gwadar (COPHC) has said: “I believe Gwadar will be the largest contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in seven years.” 95 percent of the production in the Gwadar Free Zone would be exported, he added.

The COPHC and it’s four subsidiaries will be operating the Gwadar seaport and its economic zones for a period of 23 years. Baozhong said that until now forty-one investors have agreed to invest approximately $500 million in Gwadar Free Zone in the first phase.                                                                                                                                                                                                    COPHC’s Chairman shared his plans after the government has stamped 23-year income tax holiday and exemptions of sales tax and customs duties for the Gwadar Port and businesses to be set up at Gwadar Free Zone.

President Dr. Arif Alvi promulgated two ordinances to set up CPEC Authority and Tax Laws Amendment Ordinance 2019. Mr. Zhang, referring to the issuing of the ordinance, said that it is a turning point for Pakistan’s economy and also forecasted that billions of dollars will now be invested in Gwadar.

He gave these remarks while talking to the media persons. Mr.Zhang was also accompanied by the Federal Minister for Maritime Ali Zaidi and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar.

Zhang Baozhong also said, reported by The Express Tribune, that they have completed the master plan of the Gwadar Free Zone that would be built in 4 phases over a period of 7 years. He also said that once the zone is fully developed some 47,000 employment opportunities will be created for the locals and its annual sales would be $1 billion.

While further explaining his struggle the chairman told that he had to strive for years to secure these tax concessions that have been promised in the Gwadar Port Concession Agreement and that he had gone through ups and downs all these years.

Federal Minister for Maritime Ali Zaidi said that the required infrastructure, including the provision of electricity, water, approval of Gwadar Master Plan and other facilities that are required to make the port and free zone operational had been ensured.

In May 2017, Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet approved the Special Incentive Package for the Relocation of Industries from China for bringing Chinese investment in nine Special Economic Zones to be set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The package was primarily aimed at those Chinese industrial units that had chances of being relocated to Pakistan which might create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The two countries approved nine SEZs during the 6th CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting.

These zones would be established in Pakistan’s four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory. The package had been developed on the Chinese demand.

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