Pakistan and China have pledged to put more effort to make the best possible use of the potential in the Gwadar Port and Free Zone under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). During the sixth session of the Joint Working Group on Gwadar Chaired jointly by the Secretary Planning Development and Special Initiatives Abdul Aziz the DG of National Development and Reforms Commission of China it was discussed to speed up the work on marketing and investment and implementation strategy of the free zone. It was also decided to ensure that the local population should also benefit significantly from the opportunities provided by the massive project in the area.
During the meeting, the review and implementation of the development activities of Gwadar city, the port, and the Free Zone in the second phase of the Gwadar Port Free Zone was discussed in detail. Both sides also showed satisfaction over the successful completion of the first phase of the mega project. The meeting was also attended by the secretary of Economic Affairs Division, Secretary Maritime Affairs, Representatives of Foreign Affairs Division, Defence, Representatives of the Baluchistan Government and Gwadar Development Authority, and their counterparts in China.
The second phase of the Free Zone is very important as it spans over an area of 2221 acres which is much larger than and more significant than the first phase. The meeting was also informed that despite the covid -19 issue the implementation of the Gwadar project moved at a steady pace. It was also noted that the Projects like Linking Gwadar to National Electricity Grid, Gwadar International Airport, Provision of Water to Gwadar City, and Safe City projects are being implemented actively by the government. The chair thanked the Chinese counterparts for their assistance to Pakistan for the development of the country. The Chinese side also lauded Pakistan’s support to China at the early stages of the covid-19 pandemic. Pakistani side assured the Chinese investors of full support for their investment.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is termed as the game-changer in the region. The Implementation of the billion Dollar Project was affected during the covid-19 pandemic and both the side in the recent meeting of the joint working group have agreed to speed up the implementation of several projects like the Smart Port City Master Plan, Progress of the Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute; substantial progress on Eastbay Expressway; work on New Gwadar International Airport and the Pak-China Friendship Hospital.