ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said that Gwadar Port will provide energy-rich Central Asian Republics (CARs) and Afghanistan huge opportunities for regional trade connectivity.
Speaking with the APP here on Thursday, he said that the government is prioritising the economic integration to promote regional trade and connect important regional trade players with the deep sea port.
The PM’s advisor said that Gwadar’s geostrategic location, making it a possible railway link to Kandhar and other parts of Afghanistan, multiplies its economic importance.
“Central Asian Republics are demanding the provision of trade facilitation in Gwadar and Bin Qasim seaports for international and regional trade,” he added. “With the help of Gwadar, Central Asia via Afghanistan can become a key trade and transportation route for the entire region.”
He also informed that Afghanistan has requested Pakistan to provide a Cross-Stuffing Facility at the port.
Dawood said that Pakistan is actively participating in regional forums of Central Asia Economic Cooperation (CAREC) and Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement (QTTA) so that the country can maximise on benefits once Gwadar Port begins operating at full capacity.
According to Dawood, improvement in Trans-shipment facilities at Gwadar will change the whole dynamics of regional connectivity as it is a strategic location giving China and Central Asia access to the Gulf region and the Middle East. “The port will also act as the main sea gate for Central Asia, making it easier for Xinxiang and Central Asian countries to send products to other regions.”
Replying to a question, he said that the port is likely to reduce transport time for goods from Gwadar to Western China and CARs by 60pc to 70pc, respectively.
He assured that the Ministry of Commerce is taking all possible steps to provide modern facilities at Gwadar Port so that goods clearance time may be reduced as per the set international standards.
Furthermore, the PM’s advisor informed that a special focus has been accorded to trade facilitation, economic infrastructure development, transhipment and development of economic corridors – CPEC and CAREC – in the forthcoming Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF 2020-25) so that overall policy environment could be improved in general and regional connectivity should be increased in particular.
Moreover, Dawood said that the development of Gwadar Port will also provide Pakistan with more opportunities in order to establish new industries as huge investments have been pouring in under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and it will also provide the shortest possible route to the goods in transit.
“Ample employment opportunities will be generated for the local people when modalities are finalised by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR),” he said.