[Photo from Pak Navy site.]
[Judging from the above photo, PNS Akram is a joke. Indian PM Modi waging psywar against Chinese in Pakistan and China may be bending under the assault (SEE: India Disrupting CPEC Plans, China Trying Diplomacy First ; CIPEC: China India Pakistan Economic Corridor – Howzat? ; Indian Map Trick Becomes India’s Best Hope To Stop China-Pakistan Economic Corridor–CPEC). There will be no adding India to the project, and there will be no project without first taming the terrorist plague and solving the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.]
Sep 1, 2016 (BE2C2 Report: Irshad Salim) — The Chinese firm ‘Gwadar Free Zone Company’ has begun offering Gwadar Port’s Economic Zone (GPEZ) infrastructure facilities to foreign investors to manufacture, operate businesses and compete with regional market while the Gwadar Port is set to become fully operational by year end.
The Gwadar Free Zone Company is financing the infrastructure development of the free zone area under the $36bn CPEC, with the exception of access roads, which is being financed by the Gwadar Port Authority. The company will bring local and foreign investments to establish manufacturing assembly and processing plants, according to their agreement with the government of Pakistan.
Under the agreement, 15pc of gross revenue from the free zone will be paid to the Gwadar Port Authority by the Chinese firm. It is expected that the development of the zone will help create job opportunities, and lead to transfer of technology and regional business activities. It will serve commercial activities and traffic to and from China, the Central Asian states and Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, Iran and Southeast Asia.
In fact, Gwadar is designed to facilitate trade among more than 12 states of the regions encompassing it.
Based on the free trade agreements signed by Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Oman, Chinese products can enter the Middle East market without payment of duty after being sub-packaged in the Free Trade Zone.
Construction work is proceeding to link the Gwadar deep sea port with the hinterland (China’s southwestern province of Xinjiang) through rail, to fully realize the port’s potential. According to one analyst, the Gwadar project serves both China’s “look west” and Pakistan’s “look east” policies. For Pakistan, handing Gwadar over to China is one of the most visible manifestations of Pakistan’s own “regional pivot” attempts, especially against the backdrop of possible NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.
It’s a geo-economics not geostrategic initiative, says Pakistan’s minister for planning Mr. Ahsan Iqbal. According to several analysts, it’s both with potential to emerge into nation-island over several decades.
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) being developed at the port will accommodate industrial units for mines and minerals, food processing, agriculture, livestock and energy. It is the first of 27 SEZs being set up across the country under the CPEC.
The special zone will boost global market presence by attracting businesses, foreign investments in general trade, services, manufacturing, logistics, bunkering and trans-shipments.
It allows 23 years tax holiday and land lease for 99 years besides other benefits for international investors to establish businesses in the zone.
Gwadar city and port facilities master plan was designed by United States based company, Arthur D. Little which was considered as futuristic and able to cater all facilities till year 2050.
The Free Zone is located at major destination and gateway of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and provides opportunities and a window into land-locked central Asian Republics on the north and the Middle East and African region on its southwest.