The Port of Gwadar, Pakistan, the site of major economic cooperation between Islamabad and Beijing, has officially opened for commercial shipping and is expecting its first vessel on October 8, 2019.
The announcement was made by Pakistan’s sub-Committee of the Senate Standing on Maritime Affairs, which was attended by senators and senior officials from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Gwadar Port Authority.
Also on the agenda was the issue of IT connectivity for the Port, and it was announced that Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PCTL), the national telecoms company in Pakistan, will replace the current radio software with fibre optic connectivity to increase efficiency.
The sub-Committee also concluded that the main competitors to Gwadar would be the major transhipment hubs of Dubai and Singapore. Consequently, it has dispelled with demurrage charges and offered favourable warehouse storage deals to attract business.
Gwadar is not only pivotal to Pakistan’s economic future but also a core component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which itself central to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Port Technology published an exclusive insight into CPEC and its ramifications for global trade and shipping in 2018.