China has signed a deal with Pakistan to acquire the usage rights to more than 2,000 acres of land for a Chinese company to develop a massive special economic zone in the deep sea port of Gwadar.
A delegation led by Wang Xiaotao, Deputy Secretary General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, signed a lease agreement with the Pakistani government.
Wang Shida, an expert on Afghanistan at the Beijing-based China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said China has already invested more than $40 billion for the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Gwadar Port will play an important role in the economic prosperity of both nations.
“I think it will provide win-win benefits for both sides. The Pakistani economy will gain from the large number of processing firms that will move to the Gwadar port. It will also boost exports from Pakistan. As for China, it will gain from cheaper oil imports from the Middle East and opportunities for Chinese companies to go global,” he said.
The 43-year lease will see the government of Baluchistan province in southwestern Pakistan provide a 923-hectare swathe of tax-exempt land as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The corridor is an ambitious US$46 billion investment plan linking western China to the Arabian Sea.
The contract will let China build an international airport, a free trade area, and a maritime service company in the port with full authority to handle the port’s business operations.
Chinese firm to develop special economic zone in Pakistan.