Gwadar to be declared SEZ to facilitate economic development

Gwadar  will soon be declared a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for a period of 20 to 30 years in order to facilitate rapid commercial and economic development.The SEZ is likely to cover city of Gwadar and industrial areas currently planned and foreseen.As per data provided by the ports and shipping division on Sunday, the specific incentive-regime is likely to include general tax-holidays, no VAT and generous incentives pertaining to business ownership. The government has already started working on this proposal.The main purpose of this concept is to accelerate economic development and investments, both foreign and local, in general. This in turn will spur industrial development and port traffic throughput demand.The data further revealed that the concept of SEZ had yielded positive results around the world (particularly in China and other South East Asian and Gulf countries) with respect to accelerating local broad-based economic development.

Since designation as China’s first SEZ in 1979, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution from industry sector grew from 14pc to 44pc, over a period 26 years.Gwadar Port draws 9pc of the gross income from marine and port operations each and on development of Free Zone further 15pc of the gross income will accrue to the Port.

Moreover, under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Programme, Gwadar Port City is agreed by the two countries as a Gateway and fundamental mode of the Corridor. The optimal use of Gwadar Port under this programme will bring a big economic, commercial, and social change in Gwadar region and all along with the Corridor in Pakistan.The data said Gwadar Port was completed in 2006 at a total cost of US $ 288 million and in 2007 the port operations were handed over to PSA International, a subsidiary of Port of Singapore Authority.

Later, in 2008 Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decided to import wheat, urea and coal from Gwadar Port and till date 6.04 million tonnes of urea and wheat have been imported through Gwadar Port.The Port is partially functional and is receiving ships carrying government cargo while the new port operator, China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited (COPHCL) has started work on operational plan. Optimal port operationalization will be achieved when works on port connectivity are completed.

Source: Pakistan Today