Governments of Dubai and Pakistan strengthen maritime ties

Governments of Dubai & Pakistan strengthen maritime ties

DP World, on behalf of the Dubai government, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have signed two inter-governmental framework agreements to strengthen their marine and logistical ties.

Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Federal Minister of Communication, Railways, and Maritime Affairs, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai’s Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), signed the agreements at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

DP World noted that it will act on behalf of the Dubai Government, while state-run Pakistan Railways and the Port Qasim Authority will act on behalf of the Pakistan Government for project development.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor will extend from Karachi Port on the Arabian Sea, via Pakistan’s most populous metropolis, to the Pipri Marshalling Yard, which is roughly 45 kilometre distant. This will increase efficiency, cut transportation times, and lower overall logistics costs.

Pakistan Railways, headquartered in Lahore, is Pakistan’s national, state-owned railway business that owns and operates almost 8,000 kilometre of railway across the country, from Torkham in the northwest to Karachi in the south.

A second framework agreement was reportedly reached with Pakistan’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs to dredge the navigation channel. DP World will carry out the capital dredging on behalf of the Dubai government.

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This framework agreement will also include the creation of an economic zone at Port Qasim, with the goal of attracting more than $3 billion in foreign direct investment. DP World, on behalf of the Dubai Government, will construct the economic zone with the goal of increasing economic activity in Pakistan.

DP World commenced operations in Pakistan in 1997 at the Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), the country’s first of its type, and has since developed the facility into a major hub for global trade in the area.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of PCFC and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “Pakistan is a growing market, and an important trade corridor to Central Asia.

“We are proud to have contributed to its trading ability through our operations at Qasim International Container Terminal and are honoured to work with various Pakistani government organisations to develop new freight systems and with Port Qasim Authority to enhance port connectivity and investment.

“These will help serve Pakistan’s growing population, forecast to approach 300 million in the coming decade, and integrate it further into the wider region.” 

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Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Federal Minister of Communication, Railways and Maritime Affairs, stated: “DP World has long standing proud presence in Pakistan witnessed by mutually rewarding engagement.

“Building on the unwavering trust and partnership, the two brotherly countries have decided to further consolidate the economic cooperation through landmark projects. The signing of Investment Framework Agreements highlights the importance of Pakistan as gateway to Asia and commercial dividends associated with its strategic location”. 

This month, DP World signed multiple Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) totalling INR250 billion ($3 billion) with the Gujarat government for the construction of new ports, terminals, and industrial zones in a rising Indian state.

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