Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have recently forged significant agreements exceeding $3 billion, marking a transformative collaboration in various sectors such as railways, economic zones, and infrastructure. These pivotal pacts are set to create a dedicated freight corridor, a state-of-the-art multi-modal logistics park, and advanced freight terminals.
Dr. Javed Iqbal, a Fulbright Scholar, shared these insights with WealthPK, emphasizing the strategic nature of these agreements and their potential to reshape the economic and logistical landscapes of the two nations.
He added that the Dubai-based multinational logistics company – DP World – will spearhead infrastructure enhancements at Qasim International Container Terminal – a pivotal trade gateway for Pakistan. DP World also plans to develop an economic zone adjacent to the terminal, solidifying its commitment to the region.
The agreements were officially signed by Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Pakistan's Minister for Communication, Railways, and Maritime Affairs, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) of the Dubai government.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Davos, Tarar emphasized the enduring partnership between the two nations, stating, "DP World has a longstanding and 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 economic cooperation through landmark projects."
Dr. Javed Iqbal underscored the significance of Investment Framework Agreements, emphasizing Pakistan's pivotal role as a gateway to Asia and the commercial advantages associated with its strategic location.
He further said that DP World will represent the Dubai government in executing these projects, while Pakistan Railways and Port Qasim Authority will act on behalf of the Government of Pakistan.
"A key component of the agreements is the rail-based dedicated freight corridor, spanning from Karachi Port on the Arabian Sea to the Pipri Marshalling Yard, approximately 50km away. This initiative aims to decongest the port city of Karachi, improve road safety, enhance efficiency, reduce transport times, and lower overall logistics costs," he highlighted.
He emphasized that two other inter-governmental framework agreements seek to strengthen bilateral relations in the marine and logistics sectors.
Dr. Javed disclosed that a framework agreement was inked with Pakistan's Ministry of Maritime Affairs for the dredging of a navigation channel.
Concluding, he said this agreement also entailed the development of an economic zone at Port Qasim to attract more than US$3 billion in foreign direct investment, thereby maximizing the economic activity in Pakistan.