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Gwadar opens new avenues of business, jobs

ISLAMABAD: Once an ignored tiny indolent fishing town located at the Arabian Sea in Balochistan, Gwadar has now witnessed a wave of development projects that is opening new avenues of jobs and business opportunities for locals and will lay a strong infrastructural foundation for the country’s future.

From 2013, the deep-water port is making its new identity. It has become fully functional since late 2016. Its free zone first phase and business centre have been constructed within an astonishing six months earlier this year and embraced its first liner in March. Now, people in the remote Gwadar could also enjoy speedy 4G mobile connection to interact with the rest of the world.

4G services launched in Gwadar

According to the port operator China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC), some 20 companies in different businesses have already joined the Gwadar free zone with direct investment of 3.0 billion Chinese yuan, or some $460 million. The annual output could reach more than 5.0 billion yuan after full operation of the enterprises.

Abdul Ghaffar, owner of a grocery shop and a restaurant near Gwadar port area, enjoys the development of the port.

“Around 150 people come to my restaurant for lunch and as many for dinner. In the past, my sale was very low, but now my earning has become better and I have also extended my business. In the past, I used to open my shop and restaurant occasionally when the port opened in 2008, but now I don’t close my shop because work is in progress continuously.”

MoU inked to address water shortage in Gwadar

Ghaffar, who came to Gwadar for a better future from Quetta in 2008, said, “I have seen a big change here. There was nothing in this area, but now several buildings have been built all around. Whenever there was rain, all ways were blocked here, but now things have changed. They (Chinese) have made a big thing from nothing.”

Ghaffar is an early bird who came to Gwadar. Now, thousands of people have migrated from across the country to Gwadar to grab emerging business and jobs opportunities since the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Gwadar’s population has increased from some 85,000 in 2007 to 138,000 currently. The amount of mobile SIM cards issued in the area also jumped from about 100,000 chips to over 200,000.

Rahab Ali Meerani is a laborer who travelled some 1,080 kilometres from Shikarpur district in southern Sindh province to work on a project in Gwadar port.

Chinese Red Cross medical team to arrive soon

“I came here because in our area wages are not as high as in Gwadar.”

He added, “Chinese companies are coming to Pakistan and starting projects which are bringing a great support to poor people. Now, the poverty is being eliminated.”

“There was a lot of unemployment in Gwadar, there was only fishing work, which is not a regular job. Now people are getting a variety of jobs and they are very happy,” said Muhammad Ibrahim, a worker in Gwadar, adding, “I am very happy because this area is being developed. Some people say there is no development, but actually, development is taking place.”

Ibrahim has started learning the Chinese language to advance his contacts with Chinese people.

Gwadar ignites spark for science, discovery

Gwadar’s local people are also feeling the development impetus triggered by the rapidly developing port, construction of new roads, laying of new sewerage lines, establishment and upgrading of educational institutions and hospitals, construction of a new airport and installation of water purification plants in Gwadar due to CPEC.

Javed Mehmood, a local fisherman whose family is in the fishing business for almost one century, highlighted several development projects in Gwadar and said that “the port has developed, roads are being constructed, a road has linked Gwadar with China. First, we had only one hospital named Civil Hospital, now another hospital has been established.”

“Three people from my area now have got jobs at the port, possibly around two to three people from every area got jobs,” said Mehmood, who wished that all people in Gwadar get employed.

Gwadar port aims to become new Dubai

Liaqat Muhammad, who works in a fish preservation unit, also enjoys the development as their business has multiplied after the construction of a road linking Gwadar with Karachi, the country’s southern port city.

“Now, the road infrastructure has improved and we can send fresh fish outside. The distance we covered in 24 hours in the past, can be covered in six to seven hours now,” Muhammad added.

Muhammad couldn’t have a chance to visit the newly constructed port area, but he has watched many videos related to the port development and activities.

“A lot of development works are taking place here. Imports and exports are in progress at the port, expo centre has started. I have not visited the port yet, but I have seen the development through videos on my mobile,” said Muhammad.

CPEC starts bearing fruit for people

“In one or two years, our fish containers will be exported from the Gwadar port.”

Availability of the potable water is a common issue in Gwadar, and almost every person, whom Xinhua talked to, pinned his hope on China to solve their water issue. And the COPHC has signed a contract with the Balochistan government to provide clean drinking water to Gwadar.

Zulfiqar Bajwa, a tourist who came to Gwadar with his family from Karachi, told Xinhua, “I have come here to see the port because international focus is on it. As we have seen it, it will be one of the biggest ports in the world.”

“The future of our generations depends on it (Gwadar). When it will be completed, Pakistan’s status will increase in the world. It will bring great benefits to the Pakistani nation through industrialization,” said Bajwa.

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1710317/1-gwadar-opens-new-avenues-business-jobs/

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UPS targeting Pakistan’s growing international trade and CPEC

LAHORE: UPS, the international global logistic company is entering into a partnership with local logistics and shipping titan TCS, as it eyes Pakistan’s growing international trade and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for opportunities.

This partnership with TCS is intended to assist in reducing the cutting time and cost of shipments into and out of Pakistan reported Dawn.

President UPS, Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA) region, Mr. Jean-Francois Condamine was on a visit to Lahore recently to open the country’s second ‘Gateway’.

Mr. Francois said the country’s market is very rich and it provided a plethora of opportunities to develop business in Pakistan.

Regarding the ‘Gateway’, the United Parcel Service ISMEA President stated it is a place where the company would handle all the company’s volumes coming in and going out of the country.

He added this would provide a way to enhance shipment for exporters. Mr. Francois shared business-to-business (B2B) ventures were growing in stride around the world and Pakistan’s dealings with rest of the world had shown glimpses of the coming of digitization and business-to-consumer trends.

Also, the UPS ISMEA president said the company’s partnership with TCS was commercial and both had worked together for the last 2.5 years.

Mr. Francois shared United Parcel Service’s partnership with TCS was very natural since the latter had a 65 percent market share in Pakistan and the former was a global behemoth in the logistics space with a presence in over 220 countries.

While talking about CPEC, Mr. Francois highlighted UPS had a presence in all those countries where the corridor project is connecting.

He said CPEC was an extension of seaports connecting continents, which was very significant for UPS too.

The UPS ISMEA president stated this corridor was about the connecting of geographical blocs which includes China, Europe, Middle East and East Africa and offers a major opportunity for the company.

Mr. Francois said the company had a presence in China and was in Pakistan now to take advantage of any opportunity which comes UPS’s way.

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CPEC — challenges and solutions

Gilgit-Baltistan G-B is home to over 50 mountain peaks above 7,000 metres and three of the world’s largest glaciers that are also the greatest pure water storage assets for Pakistan. According to estimates by G-B’s Water and Power Department, around 45,000MW of hydropower can be produced through utilisation of these water resources. Yet due to the altitudinal factors, G-B has a mountain ecosystem vulnerable to climate change and one likely to be affected by the industrial and business developments in future.

Gilgit-Baltistan G-B has been in the spotlight following CPEC’s initiation. A project of scale as huge as CPEC is pivotal to the economic and social development of the populace of the region, generating more of income avenues, investment options and opportunities of capital utilisation. While simultaneously providing more prospects for cultural exchange, interaction and diversification. Nevertheless it has an unavoidable cost attached to it.

Massive industrial development along the routes starting from Kashgar in Xinjiang, China, to Abbottabad in K-P, Pakistan, will damage the ecological system and the scenic beauty of the region. The biggest threat will be of the traffic emissions moving through this route.

With CPEC, demand for petroleum products set to grow

According to a research study, a single 22-wheeler truck vehicle produces 931g of carbon dioxide per km. From Khunjarab Pass to the Bhasha Dam site, a 427km-long northern and southern boundaries of G-B, stretching on the Karakoram Highway, a single truck will emit 396.6kgs of carbon dioxide. CO2 emission will be heavier, 2913.1kgs, in one trip from Kashgar to Gwadar. With current capacity of KKH, for less than 1,000 trucks per day from China to Pakistan, with the expected maturity of road routes, by around 2035, it is projected that about 12,000 trucks will enter and leave Pakistan, making a total of 24,000 trucks running through the route per day.

Currently, about 2,000 trucks running on both sides emit 793.2 tons in and a total of 5,826.2 tons of CO2 from cargo vehicles per day. In future 9,508.8 tons of CO2 will be emitted per day in Gilgit-Baltistan G-B territory and a total of 69,914.4 tons of CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere along the entire route in a single day.

In general, CO2 is a heavy gas that does not move upwards into the atmosphere and with high mountains in surroundings remains trapped in between, this will be apocalyptic to the region’s ecosystem. The high volume of the greenhouse CO2 trapped in mountains will significantly increase atmospheric temperature causing a heavy melting of glaciers. For a water-stressed country like Pakistan, this will initially cause floods and then alarmingly severe water shortage.

High concentration of pollutants in atmosphere will drastically deteriorate the air quality in the area and substantially increase the level of air pollution.

Scientific research and advanced technologies provide solutions to threats like global warming and environmental degradation. One such solution to have eco-friendly energy sources for transportation is hydrogen. Hydrogen, an energy carrier, can be used as fuel in vehicles, as most beneficially it emits water vapour but no harmful gases. Moreover, due to greater energy density than conventional fossil fuels efficiency of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles is significantly higher than that of conventional vehicles.

Key to CPEC success

Germany is currently leading in hydrogen technology and plans to make hydrogen accessible in all its big cities by 2020. In G-B’s case, hydrogen can be produced here by local hydropower resources with a zero carbon footprint. the G-B government needs to be proactive in decision-making, planning and strategising for future while collaborating with market leaders in this technology. As CPEC infrastructure is developed in stages and will take at least 10 to 15 years to complete and run on its optimal targets, a proactive initiative in this regard is vital to protect the environment.

As China is investing in development of environmentally-sustainable technologies, agreements with its government can be made to make CPEC an emission-free route.

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1688108/6-cpec-challenges-solutions/

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PSO and Power China Plan to Set Up Oil Refinery Worth $8 Billion in Pakistan

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) is in talks with Power China for a partnership in an estimated $8 billion refining project in the country according to informed sources.

An agreement between the two is expected to be signed ‘very soon’, said an official. However, he had no firm details on the particulars of the agreement as reported by an English Newspaper.

It should be noted that during his recent visit to China, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi witnessed the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between PSO and Power China for the construction of up-country deep conversion oil refinery and laying of crude oil pipeline during a visit at the Boao Forum recently.

The refinery would likely have a capacity of 250,000 barrels/day (bpd) to 300,000 bpd/day.

Moreover, the pipeline has been designed to avoid any accidents and maintain smooth supply to other installed refineries.

Officials said the projects aim to supply uninterrupted crude oil and finished products in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country.

Currently, the country has five refineries having a combined capacity of around 404,000 barrels per day.

It is yet to see when the project would materialize as the new refinery should be based on the latest technologies.

At the moment, Pakistani refineries are producing around 25 percent to 40 percent of furnace oil from their product mix. These refineries had to suffer a colossal loss, following the government’s decision to close down power plants running on furnace oil back in November 2017.

Pakistan has already reduced its reliance on furnace oil. It has invested huge amounts in alternate and cheap sources of power generation, as well as in coal and LNG-based power plants.

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Investors to get hefty incentives for industries in Special Economic Zones

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Chinese investors, preparing to set up industry in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will get significant incentives including exemption from duties and taxes, concessional loans, land on instalments and the facility of one window operation to help them in dealing with federal and provincial departments.

According to an official document of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Secretariat, the Pakistani government has provided a policy package to attract potential investors including Chinese enterprises.

The incentive package includes one-time exemption from all customs duties and taxes on plant and machinery imported into Pakistan for installation in Special Economic Zones.

The investors will get an exemption from all taxes on income accruable in relation to the development and operation of the SEZs for a period of five years and an exemption from all taxes on income for enterprises commencing commercial production by June 30, 2020, in the SEZs for the next ten years.

Pakistan and Chinese governments in their 7th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held in November last year decided to establish nine special economic zones in different regions.

The list of priority Special Economic Zones (SEZs) include: SEZ in Rashakai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SEZ Dhabeji Sindh, Bostan Industrial Zone in Balochistan, Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3), Faisalabad in Punjab, SEZ Maqpoondas in Gilgit Baltistan, ICT Model SEZ in Islamabad, Port Qasim SEZ on Pakistan Steel land in Sindh, Mohmand Marble City in FATA and SEZ in Mirpur in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan will provide gas, electricity, water and other supporting facilities and working shelters in the industrial parks, set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The package includes the provision of plots on instalments (50 per cent down payment and remaining 50 per cent in four biannual instalments).

The investors will also get the markup support at the rate of 50 per cent of the markup to a maximum of 5 per cent on the loans taken in Pakistani currency for financing the project. The support is to be provided by the respective governments for the zones in their jurisdiction. Freight subsidy of 50 per cent will be provided on the inland transportation of plant and machinery for installation in any of the priority SEZ.

Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) will put in place a one window operation and the respective provincial governments will delegate authority for implementing labour, environment and other laws and for the collection of local and provincial taxes or will depute representatives of the departments in SEZA office. The federal government departments including utility companies, Federal Board of Revenue and Securities and Exchange Commission will depute representatives to perform similar functions in the zone.

The developer shall also be allowed to purchase gas, electricity, and other utilities from utility providers in bulk and supply the same to the enterprises at rates that are duly notified by SEZA in consultation with the stakeholders.

The developer would also be allowed to rent out sheds for industrial use. To encourage upscaling of the industry so that it can become part of global supply chain, certain guidelines have been prepared by the government, to give a thrust to the industrialization process.

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/04/08/investors-to-get-hefty-incentives-for-industries-in-special-economic-zones/

Political squabbling hit Gwadar Port City development

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has said that the provincial government is forced to take loan for the development of Gwadar Port City as the federal government has yet to release the promised Rs1 billion for the project.

“Neglecting Balochistan is tantamount to neglecting Pakistan as the country’s development depends on our province,” said Balochistan CM while talking to the media after an open court at the CM House on Friday.

PTI moves resolutions seeking PM apology over Sanjrani remarks

Bizenjo said, “Our differences with the federal government should not interfere with the provincial development.”

Lamenting the federal government’s reckless behaviour in releasing funds for Balochistan’s development, Bizenjo said, “The federal government pledged Rs1 billion for Gwadar Port City but the amount has yet to be released. The developmental projects are being completed by taking loans from donors because we want to provide relief to the people of Balochistan in line with the promise we made to them.”

He said, “Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should think about the whole country and keep political differences aside.”

Bizenjo – a man of substance

Regretting over the PM’s remarks against the Senate chairman, the Balochistan CM said, “Abbasi’s statement against Sadiq Sanjrani has astonished the people of Balochistan.”

On new appointments of candidates who passed the National Testing Service (NTS) test, Bizenjo said, “Appointment orders of successful candidates will be issued this week. We have pledged to provide jobs on merit, but unfortunately we are being held responsible for the previous regime’s mismanagement.”

The chief minister said, “If we had a competent regime in the past, today Balochistan would have depicted a better picture. Those who were involved in corruption are holding us responsible for mass joblessness.”

Bizenjo for eliminating joblessness, poverty

Sharing his views on the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party, the CM said, “The new party is a gift for the people of Balochistan as the province needs new leadership to address the myriad of issues existing in Balochistan. I will announce my joining of the party.”

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PCJCCI identifies potential sectors for Pak-China joint ventures

LAHORE: Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) has identified seven high potential sectors for joint ventures and investment between Pakistan and China, which include handicrafts, textile, leather, gemstone, sportswear, surgical instruments, and technology-based agriculture along with reclamation and salinity control.

Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry  (PCJCCI) office-bearers presented a research paper to Deputy Minister China and Counsel for the Promotion of International Trade Jinan, Teng Shaung, during a meeting here at the Expo Centre, according to the joint chamber’s spokesperson on Monday.

Teng Shaung was heading an 81-member delegation to participate in the Auto Show, which got the entire auto engineering sector assembled under one roof. All government high-ups, local and international buyers and manufacturers along with machinery manufacturers, raw material providers, and service providers were present at the event. She also distributed a questionnaire backed by primary research to have direct feedback from the stakeholders of the auto market on this occasion.

The deputy minister was satisfied and hopeful for the joint business ventures in different automotive sectors. She thanked PCJCCI President SM Naveed and other office-bearers for serving as a bridge between business communities of Pakistan and China to explore and expand the opportunities in the commercial and industrial sector.

During her trip, Teng Shaung also visited many places including different trade bodies, expo centers, wholesale markets, and shared her primary research with local stakeholders. The idea behind the primary research was to gauge true potential and make a SWOT analysis for disseminating prospective investors from China in related sectors. She highly applauded the research conducted by PCJCCI in this regard and assured to disseminate the valuable findings of this research among Chinese investors.

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/03/19/pcjcci-identifies-potential-sectors-for-pak-china-joint-ventures/

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China in talks with Baloch separatists: report

China has reportedly been engaging in low-key dialogue with Baloch tribal separatists for over five years. Talks have been held to appease the separatists in order to securitise the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which has projected investments worth of $60 billion.

According to the Financial Times, three people have shared details of Beijing being in direct contact with militants in Balochistan.

Pakistan looks to China, Saudi Arabia for succour

Beijing has so far maintained a policy of non-intervention in the domestic politics of other countries. However, the sheer magnitude and scale of its multifaceted investments in all windows of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project have sharpened security sensibilities. The vision to create a “new Silk Road” of trade routes in Europe, Asia and Africa has led China to venture into conflict management.

It seems like Beijing is replenishing the void left by Washington, which went from being Pakistan’s war time ally to becoming one of its harshest critics on extremism.

The venturesome and risk intensive move by China has perturbed India, which fears China’s growing influence in the Global South.

The Asian Dream: Rabbani lauds launch of Mandarin classes

“The Chinese have quietly made a lot of progress,” said one Pakistani official. “Even though separatists occasionally try to carry out the odd attack, they are not making a forceful push.”

China treads into some of the world’s most complex conflict zones as it plans to connect a new silk road. South Sudan, Mali and Iraq are some of the places where China has heavy stakes in place.

Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1639841/1-china-talks-pakistani-separatists/

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CPEC to bring socio-economic benefit to whole region: Ziyu

China’s infrastructure construction tycoon says Pakistan is his second home

Beijing

Terming Pakistan as his second home, Vice President, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), Sun Ziyu has believed that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring socio-economic benefits not only to China and Pakistan but also the neighbouring countries and world.
“I believe, the CPEC, a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping for the shared prosperity of humankind, will benefit China, Pakistan, neighbouring countries and the world,” he said while talking to APP in an interview.
He informed that CCCC, dedicated to the construction, investment, development and operation of infrastructure in the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) including Pakistan, was already working on various projects including the Gwadar Port under the CPEC framework.
Sun said that his company was one of world’s largest port designers and constructors, leading designers and constructors of highways, bridges and well-known comprehensive city developer, “We are planning construction of Gwadar smart city.”
He said that last year, his company’s new contracts in overseas achieved the total value of US$41 billion, the turnover of US$20.3 billion and a total profit of US$ 1.35 billion.
Having experience of dredging, international designing and expressway and bridges building, the company would construct a dry port in Gwadar.
“We have selected a land measuring five square kilometres for the dry port,” he added. China Harbour, a subsidiary of his company, was working on construction of East Bay Expressway project, he said. The vice president shared that his company was likely to play a pivotal role in the up-gradation and rehabilitation of Pakistan Railways under the CPEC, the project was at the planning stage.
He informed that his company had built a total of more than 10,000 kilometres of highways and signed contracts or built more than 2,000 kilometres of railways around the world.
The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge railway in Kenya completed and launched to operation last year had aroused the attention of Africa and the whole world, he said and added, “We are also accelerating the progress of such projects as the Nairobi-Maraba Railway in Kenya and the East Coast Rail Link of Malaysia with a contract value of nearly US$10 billion.
The vice president said that his company took part in construction of the bridges on the most important Karakuram Highway (KKH) in Pakistan, adding the project teams had almost become an emergency rescue squad for local government.—APP

Source: https://pakobserver.net/cpec-bring-socio-economic-benefit-whole-region-ziyu/

CPEC’s HEC building education city in Gwadar

QUETTA: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) unit of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) held a special consultative meeting to review the ongoing government university and educational city projects in Gwadar.

“Establishment of Government University Gwadar in due time and duration is an important target for all of us,” said HEC head Lt Gen (retd) Mohammad Asghar at the Balochistan University of Information Technology Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEM).

Members of Technical Review Committee, BUITEMS Vice Chancellor Dr Ahmed Farooq Bazai, University of Turbat Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Abdul Razaq Sabir, Quaid-e-Azam University Professor Dr Zafar Nawaz, Balochistan Higher Education Secretary Abdula Jan, senior professors of universities and other government officials were also present on the occasion.

“Best teachers and faculty will be appointed on merit only,” the HEC head said.

The committee discussed employment opportunities which would be provided after completion of the CPEC projects. Special focus was made on provision of technical training to the youth of Gwadar.

In the meeting, comprehensive consultation was conducted for construction and establishment of world class government university in Gwadar and launch of certain educational and technical training programmes and courses.

The consultation process included heads of many government departments, universities, and other institutions of Balochistan so that the people of Balochistan could benefit from the completion of CPEC.

BUITEM vice chancellor said, “Youth and students of Balochistan are not lesser than any of us. We have to equip Baloch youth technically in order to promote economic rehabilitation of the local people.”

Earlier, Bazai had welcomed the meeting’s participants and gave a comprehensive briefing on the modern facilities available at BUITEM.

Source: https://www.cpecb.com/cpecnews/cpecs-hec-building-education-city-gwadar/