A number of companies from the Gulf region are interested to establish industrial units in the Gwadar Free Zone.
This was revealed by Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) in his recent interview with a YouTube channel.
There has been a lot of progress in the free zone in the city that spanned over an area of 2400 acres where not only local and Chinese investors but those from the Gulf area were also keen to set up their industries.
He said there had been great progress on the city and the port and recently “we started construction of Gwadar airport with the support of the Chinese government who granted $230 million for the project,” he added.
With respect to the planned Oil City in Gwadar, he informed that about 30 kilometers away from the city near Pasni, an area is being designated for an oil refinery and oil storage. The chairman pointed out that after completion of the Main Line One (ML-1) Railway Upgrade Project, Gwadar Port City will be linked with the rest of the country through a railway line.
A new railway line would be laid from Quetta to Gwadar to link the port city with the rest of the country and beyond.
He further said the railway line up to Iran would also be upgraded to enhance the scope of the mega project.
Bajwa who is also Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting pointed out that the biggest ever project that being executed under CPEC is the ML-1 project.
“All initial processes have been completed, its evaluation has been done, and estimation has also been reviewed,” he termed the $6.8 billion project historical for logistic infrastructure in Pakistan as every business is going to become viable as long as freight traffic through railways is concerned.
The ML-1 project will also increase passenger movement from Karachi to Peshawar as the travel time from Lahore to Karachi would be reduced to only eight hours.
To a question, Bajwa said the 1870 kilometers ML-1 project was a huge initiative that was scheduled to be completed over a period of 7-9 years in phases.
However, many projects under CPEC had already been completed before time so this project could also be done before the settled time period.
When asked about the establishment of the CPEC Authority, the chairman said that when the government realized that the scope of the CPEC project is not expanding, then it decided to establish the authority to ensure that everything is handled by a single entity.
He said that since so many ministries, departments, provinces, and federating units are involved in the megaproject, a forum was direly needed which would provide a one-window facility to the foreign investors.
To another query, the chairman said that the emphasis of CPEC is more on the implementation of projects but we also do the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of the projects.