US $474 mln invested by 30 companies in Gwadar free zone

Aound 30 companies have so far invested in the Gwadar Free Zone, with direct investment of about  US $ 474 million, according to official sources on Sunday.

The Gwadar Free Zone, being developed by a Chinese company, is located in the northern part of  Gwadar, about 7km away from the port.

The planned development period is from 2015 to 2030 and is divided into four phases. The pilot phase of  the free zone has already been completed. The 923-hectare Free Zone includes an initial area (25 hectares)  and the northern area (898 hectares).

The initial area is located in the west of the existing port. Its main purpose is to play a pilot role in  setting up industries and to increase cargo capacity for the port.

The construction of the initial area includes a few projects: infrastructure, business center, trade  exhibition hall, cold storage and warehouse. By January of 2018, all those constructions have been completed.

The Gwadar Free Zone was inaugurated and the first International Expo was held in January 2018. With  the construction of the free zone, the city of Gwadar will become a commercial hub of the region in the  near future.

The initial work including design and the feasibility study for construction of a new international  airport has already been finalized.

The completion of the new airport will place Gwadar, an important component of China-Pakistan  Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, on the global aviation map.

It will be an airport of international standards capable of handling the largest of passenger planes,  including the A380 Boeing Jet and is aimed at facilitating the movement of international investors  and visitors.

The Civil Aviation of Authority (CAA) has earmarked 3000 acres of land 26km northeast of the  existing airport. The new airport will be given international status and operate under the open skies  policy.

In the meantime, there are plans at the existing airport to further facilitate the movement of wide-bodied  aircraft.

Efforts are also on to start work on technical and vocational institute this year to meet the demand  of the skilled workers for the port and the free zone.

The land has been acquired for the purpose, while the design and feasibility study have also been  completed.

The construction of China-Pakistan friendship hospital will star in the next few months to ensure medical  facilities to the local population.

A project for provision of 200,000-gallon water to the residents of Gwadar has been started.

The Gwadar port was handed over to the Chinese Overseas Port Holding Company in  February 15, to make it operational.

Vessels and ships have started arriving and they are bringing cargo and equipment for the work on  port and it will become fully operational in three to four years.

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