KARACHI: On behalf of FPCCI, Tariq Haleem signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Zhang Baozhong, Chairman CEO (COPHC).

Tariq Haleem, Vice President FPCCI attended the inaugural ceremony of the liner service to Gwadar Port by vessel MS Tiger. Speaking on the occasion, he sad that it was indeed a very historic occasion and a success story under the auspices of China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC). The very basic infrastructure has been put in place, paving the way for upcoming projects and also enhancing the facilities to be put on fast track.

Haleem said that FPCCI with COPHC had been working for some time to ensure commencement of regular cargo shipments at Gwadar Port to send a message to the world community that Gwadar Port is now operational. He also mentioned that Gwadar Port is seen as a “FUTURE JEWEL” in the Pakistan China CPEC flagship of China’s “One Belt One Road” which is initiative to build a new silk road of land and maritime trade routes across Asia and beyond. Gwadar port will Inshallah very soon be a major transhipment hub and a mega port.

It has been mutually agreed that FPCCI and Provincial Government of Baluchistan will sign a MoU for cooperation for attracting investments and FPCCI will also advise on the master plan for Gawadar. He said presently Pakistan is exporting wheat in bulk and more than 1 million tons will be exported from Punjab. Therefore congestion at both Karachi Port and Port Qasim is expected. We at FPCCI feel that this is an opportune time to divert some ships to Gwadar for loading of Wheat export cargoes.

Haleem further said that If we work intelligently / plan properly, we can coordinate the import of rock phosphate, seeds and scrap in ship loads to Gwadar. These import cargoes are also destined for Punjab. Therefore transport can move both ways i.e. with export wheat cargo from Punjab to Gwadar and import cargo of rock phosphate, seeds and scrap etc. to Punjab which will hopefully result in bringing down the extra transport costs.

Haleem took this opportunity to thank the chief minister of Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo for his kind gesture of acceding to FPCCI request for the promotion of Gwadar port. The Chief Minister has very kindly agreed to grant subsidy for extra transport cost and to provide free of cost office space to FPCCI at Gwadar. FPCCI has gladly accepted this offer and will establish its office at Gwadar to promote and utilize the facilities for the mutual benefits / objectives of the business community and COPHC.

Haleem expressed his expectation that COPHC will capitalize on this unprecedented initiative by the Chief Minister of Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo. Haleem said that the efforts put in to organize Gwadar Expo 2018 during January was a great success in projecting the benefits to be achieved for the investors at Gwadar. He also said that FPCCI members are keen to invest and setup projects at Gwadar. On behalf of FPCCI Tariq Haleem signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Zhang Baozhong, Chairman CEO COPHC.