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Gwadar Port operation contract awarded to China

19 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday formally awarded the contract for the operation of Gwadar Port and the building of infrastructure around it to China at a signing ceremony held at the Presidency that was witnessed by President Asif Ali Zardari, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Liu Jian, Foreign Minister Hinna Rabbani Khar, some federal ministers, members of parliament and senior government officials.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday formally awarded the contract for the operation of Gwadar Port and the building of infrastructure around it to China at a signing ceremony held at the Presidency that was witnessed by President Asif Ali Zardari, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Liu Jian, Foreign Minister Hinna Rabbani Khar, some federal ministers, members of parliament and senior government officials.

Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the ceremony actually marked the transfer of Concession Agreement from the Port of Singapore Authority to the China Overseas Port Holding Company and was hailed by the president as an auspicious development in Pak-China relations as well as for the people of Pakistan particularly Balochistan opening for them ‘new opportunities'.

Gwadar will soon be a hub of trade and commerce in the region, the president remarked adding, it holds the key to bring together the countries of Central Asia and lending new impetus to Pakistan China relations. The president also on the occasion traced the history of development of Gwadar and how it was envisioned by the Pakistan People's Party leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and the obstacles created in its way.

The president also highlighted the strategic significance of the port for China and Central Asian Republics and its potential of integrating the economies of the countries in the region. The Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet are closer to Pakistani ports than to the ports in China, the president said and added that the development of a trade corridor linking Xinjiang to the Middle East via Gwadar Port held ‘huge promise'.

The Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Khan Ghori could not attend the ceremony. The president however lauded Ghori's efforts in facilitating the transfer of port operations to China.

About the project's strategic importance for China, the president said that nearly 60 percent of China's crude oil was imported from the Gulf countries, which would increase in the next decade. Because of the proximity of the Gulf countries to Gwadar the oil flow from the Gulf to China would be greatly facilitated by the operation of this port, he said. The president also expressed sorrow and grief over the bomb blast in Quetta on Saturday and said that as we fight the menace of militancy the forward march for progress and development will also continue.

End.


 
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