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Handing over Gwadar port to China best solution: PEW
09-12-2012, 11:45 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2012 11:46 AM by Salman.)
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Handing over Gwadar port to China best solution: PEW
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ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the government to hand over management of Gwadar deep-water port to China following the pull-out of Singapore’s PSA International.
Willingness on the part of Beijing to take control of the port will encourage investment and professional handling of port operations. It will bring two countries closer and promote social and economic development, it said.
Gwadar is close to the Strait of Hormuz through which much of the Gulf’s oil exports are carried to other countries while converting it into an oil pipeline hub best suit Chinese interests, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Since Pakistan is unable to exploit opportunities in strategically important port of Gwadar, the decision seems only option which will also open new economic opportunities for people of Balochistan in shape of around $10 billion Chinese investments, he added.
Mughal said that this will be another major Chinese contribution to the development of Pakistan’s infrastructure construction which is part of Beijing’s continued commitment to support their friends become self-reliant.
Both the friendly countries and all-weather allies will stand beneficial from a deal on country’s only deep water and transhipment port from strategic and economic stand points, he observed.
It may be mentioned that Gwadar was developed by the Chinese government at a cost of $288 million which was later handed over to SPA International under a 40-year agreement in 2007 for management, operations, maintenance and development.
However, SPA and its partners could not fulfil contractual obligations including investment of $775 million due to some reasons.
Mughal demanded of the government to offer tax exemptions, complete highways network and take steps to safeguard Chinese investments as no other country will be willing to invest in mega projects in Pakistan due to a variety of reasons including adverse Western sentiments.
China is a trustworthy friend and has always supported Pakistan against all odds and in difficult times, he said adding that the visit of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf to China at this time is of critical importance.


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