Gwadar – Gwadar port free zone land was handed over to China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd (COPHCL) on a 43-year lease during the formal handover ceremony conducted in Gwadar, on Wednesday.
Being part of the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC), the ceremony was mainly conducted for three important undertakings; Handing-taking over Gwadar port free zone land, Framework Agreement on strategic corporation between COPHCL and Lin Yi trade city holding company for the development of Gwadar Port Free Zone Land and Inauguration of COPHCL Education Fund for teachers and students of Gwadar.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael and the Chinese delegation headed by Vice Chairman of National Development and Reforms Commission Wang Xiotao and the Director General of The International Department of CPC Central Committee Ms. Sun Haiyan.
Pakistani government has already declared Gwadar port a free trade zone for 23 years but the ceremony conducted on Wednesday further extended the lease period to 43 years for 637 acres of land to Gwadar Port Free Zone Company (GPFZ Co) a subsidiary of COPHCL.
Gwadar will be the hub of development in the coming years – Ahsan Iqbal.
Addressing the attendees, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said, “Gwadar will be the hub of development in the coming years and CPEC will mainly bring its positive impacts on this land connecting it with the capital of the province and other parts of the country and internationally through Gwadar International Airport (GIA).”
“CPEC and the upcoming projects by the Chinese government in Gwadar will open doors of educational and employment opportunities for the local youth of Gwadar in particular,” the Chief Minister Balochistan said during his speech.
CPEC will open doors of educational and employment opportunities for the local youth of Gwadar – Dr. Malik Baloch.
According to the details Gwadar Port has a 23 years tax exemption while Free zone enjoy 40 years tax holiday on import and export of materials and equipment required for Free Zone.
A contingent of 10,000 personnel of security forces has been raised to protect Mega projects in Gwadar and ensure safety of the Chinese personnel.
Entire Gwadar city remained closed for the whole day due to security arrangements for the handing over ceremony.
Published in The Balochistan Point on November 13, 2015