ISLAMABAD – Gwadar Port will be connected with the 2nd phase of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) through the Eastbay Expressway by the end of next year, assisting the progress of businesses.

Pakistan and China were in discussions during the 5th meeting of the ‘Joint Working Group on Gwadar’ and officials have stated the completion of the Eastbay Expressway by the end of 2021 as well as the confirmation of the Power Purchase Agreement of 300mw Coal Power Project by the 10th JCC.

A video conference was held between Pakistan and China on Monday, the 30th of November 2020 in Islamabad in honor of the 5th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Gwadar. Multiple personalities were in attendance; Secretary of Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives (PD&SI) Mr. Mathar Niaz Rana from Pakistan and Director-General of National Development and Reform Comission (NDRC) Mr. Ying Xiong from China were both also present as co-chairmen.

In the Director-General’s opening remarks, he said that ‘the development of Gwadar was a priority and would be pushed forward with vigour and zeal.’ The Secretary followed with the acknowledgement of the continuous support provided by the Chinese government and assured them of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to accelerate the development projects initiated in Gwadar.

The meeting focused on Gwadar projects including the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) and M-8 Motorway as well as the Pak-China Friendship Hospital and the Vocational & Technical Institute. Both sides expressed satisfaction towards their progress, with the Chinese side appreciating the Pakistani support enabling Afghani transit trade through the port operationalization of Gwadar. It was concurred that this step would considerably reduce the logistic cost and aid the trans-shipment trade. The Chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company Limited (CoPHCL) also elaborated on the development of Gwadar Port, highlighting the entrepreneurs’ renewed interest in investing in said port and the FTZ locale.
The Secretary also recognized the projects overseen by Corporate Social Responsibility, including Fraternity Emergency Care Centre of the Red Crescent Society of China, Pak-China Faqeer Colony School, and other initiatives of the China Overseas Port Holding Company.

The Secretary of PD&SI also informed about other social sector development projects the Pakistani government has undertaken under the Prime Minister’s development package designed for South Balochistan, with the Director-General of NRDC applauding their efforts and reaffirming China’s full support for socio-economic development. The meeting concluded with finalization on the agreed deliverables of the JWG on Gwadar for the forthcoming 10th JCC.