Islamabad: December 30th, 2021: The 6th Session of the Joint Working Group on Gwadar was co-chaired by Secretary Planning Development & Special Initiatives Mr. Abdul Aziz Uqaili and the Mr. Ying Xiong, Director General of the National Development & Reforms Commission of China. Secretary Economic Affairs and Maritime Affairs, representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Aviation, Defence, CPEC Authority, PPIB, GPA, Government of Balochistan, GDA as well as representatives of their counterparts in China participated in the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the implementation status of the CPEC projects in Gwadar and deliberated upon the future course of action with regard to development of Gwadar city, port and the free zone. Both sides expressed satisfaction on steady progress made on various projects including full operationalization of Gwadar Port and its inclusion in the Afghan Transit Trade route; finalization of the Smart Port City Master Plan; completion of the Pak-China Technical & Vocational Institute; substantial progress on Eastbay Expressway; commencement of work on New Gwadar International Airport and the Pak-China Friendship Hospital.
It was noted that Gwadar Free Zone Phase -1 had been successfully completed, while work on the much larger Phase – 2 covering an area of 2221 acres had been started. The meeting emphasized on the need for finalization of Marketing and Investment Plan for Free Zone along with its implementation strategy. The meeting was informed that the Plan would soon be submitted for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on CPEC.
Chinese enterprises, including Zhejiang DRC, China Communication Construction Company, Zhejiang Seaport and Huazhang Technology made presentations during the meeting on their planned investments in Low Carbon Recycling Park, within the Gwadar Free Zone. Pakistan side assured the investors of full support and cooperation for their ventures.
It was noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions the projects in Gwadar were implemented at a steady pace. The meeting also took note of various operational issues faced by the projects during the course of the year. It was noted that several issues had been resolved through intervention of relevant authorities. Both sides resolved to address any remaining issues on priority.
The meeting was also informed that the Government of Pakistan was actively implementing various projects, in close collaboration with the Provincial Government to ensure provision of all the necessary facilities in Gwadar. The projects include linking Gwadar to the national electricity grid; provision of water to Gwadar city from nearby dams; establishment of University of Gwadar and Gwadar Safe City project and certain other projects in the socio-economic domain.
The two sides resolved to redouble the efforts to tap the full potential of Gwadar port and free zone as well as to make sure that the local population of Gwadar and surrounding areas fully benefit from these projects by utilizing the massive opportunities being created in various sectors.