Gwadar port will be fully functional by next month

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's third major port — Gwadar Sea Port — in Balochistan will be fully functional next month as its operators, the Singapore Port Authority, has largely overcome what was termed its "teething problems".

By A Correspondent

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Published: Fri 17 Aug 2007, 10:10 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:21 PM

Three of the port's berths have started handling the ships coming in. However, to handle big ships the port requires more berths, according to the port authorities.

Director-General of Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) Ahmad Bakhash Lehri said that businessmen need more warehouses and other equipment to enhance the country's foreign trade.

He said that due to the destruction of coastal highway and floods, it was becoming difficult to have the port fully operational. "But this job is expected to be done by next month", he said adding that ships have started coming to Gwadar port.

He expressed hopes that Singapore Port would be in a position to run Gwadar port by next month.

Sources said that Singapore-based operators were told to expedite the work especially after having received a 40-year tax holiday despite concerns expressed by other investors and the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

"The government is already extending tax exemptions and tax holidays at various industrial zones and duty free economic zones and that is why such a facility had been offered to Singapore port which is investing $550 million there", a senior government official said.

He said export processing zones were also enjoying certain tax holiday and exemptions and there was nothing exceptional in the case of Singapore port.

Gwadar port located in Balochistan is being considered a future trading hub in the region because of its closeness to the Gulf.

Initially, the port is expected to face competition from Port Salalah of Iran. But after the completion of Phase-2 by 2010 at a cost of $840 million, it is likely to become one of the busiest ports in the region, providing warehousing, transshipment and industrial facilities for trade with over 20 countries including Gulf countries, Iran, Central Asian States, India, China and East Africa. Phase-1 of the Gwadar has cost $298 million.

The government also planned some other concessions at the proposed Export Processing Zone (EPZ) near Gwadar port for local and foreign investors.

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