DP World will set up container terminal on built, operate and transfer basis.
DP World CEO Mohammad Sharaf and Port Qasim Authority Chairman Vice Admiral M. Asad Qureshi signed the agreement in presence of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Ports and Shipping Minister Babar Khan Ghauri.
The company has already invested $100 million for constructing the first terminal and is likely to make further investment of $70 million in dredging. Together, this would be the largest ever foreign direct investment in the port sector of Pakistan.
The DP World CEO Mohammad Sharaf said his company was encouraged by a recent visit of His Highness Shaikh Muhammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to Pakistan and decided to establish the second container terminal.
"The government of Pakistan has given us full backing and support in this project," he said.
Terming the agreement 'historic', Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said this was the beginning of a new era in the infrastructure construction and development in Pakistan. "Pakistan being a growing economy needed better means of communication and good infrastructure to support its domestic, external and transit trade activities," he added.
The prime minister said Pakistan being at the cross-roads of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East offered greater trade and investment opportunities, including transit trade. He said with two seaports already functioning and completion of Gwadar Deep Sea Port by the end of this year, Pakistan would truly serve as transit trade corridor for the region.
Aziz said Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates enjoyed close trade and cultural relations with common faith and today's agreement was manifestation to the fact of growing interest and investment by Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
The prime minister said the government would welcome investment in all fields of trade and economy with a level-playing field for local and foreign investors.
Sharaf also appreciated the quick process of the agreement and said: "We have negotiated with various countries, but this was one of fastest negotiations."
He said DP World would also make investment in the development of an industrial zone near Gwadar.
The project to be completed in three phases with an overall capacity of 1.15 million TEUs, will enhance the total TEUs capacity of the port to about 1.75 million.Apart from doubling the container handling capacity, the second container terminal will bring Rs60 billion earning in direct revenue for the port in 30 years.
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