Gwadar all set to host first-ever Global Trade Expo 2018 on Monday

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  • Expo to bring manufacturers, investors, govt officials from different countries on one stage

  • Agreement declaring Gwadar port as sister port with Tianjin port also on cards     

ISLAMABAD: Gwadar is all set to make a historic breakthrough in the annals of history with the holding of first-ever Global Trade Expo 2018, which will be held on Monday, where manufacturing companies from China, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and other countries would showcase their products.

“This expo would also provide the first of its kind opportunity for the manufacturers, investors, entrepreneurs and government officials from countries of the region on one stage. Other than showcasing their company products, new avenues of trade and technology transfer would be discussed at the event,” said Chinese embassy’s Press and Political Counselor Jiang Han, while briefing media here on Friday.

He said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the expo, while Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing and senior officials from China and Pakistan would also be present.

Jiang Han said Chinese and Pakistani officials would also sign many agreements and MoUs at the expo. He said that an agreement would be signed to declare Gwadar as the sister city with a city of Henan province. He said another agreement would be about declaring Gwadar port as sister port with Tianjin port.

Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) and China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) are jointly organising the first international exhibition. Jiang Han said that PM Abbasi would also inaugurate the first phase of Gwadar Free Economic Zone, where over 200 companies from across various industrial sectors from both Pakistan and China will be participating.

“Though we have 150 booths for the expo, we have received over 5,000 applications. Hence, it is a promising sign how the world businessmen look at the Gwadar Expo,” he said. “Moreover, we would also provide 18 booths at the expo to local companies of Balochistan for free.”

Around 5,000 visitors are allowed to attend the event, while over 10,000 applications had been received. The two-day event would be first mega event in the history of Balochistan, which would not only highlight the significance of Gwadar but also promote its port and free zone.

“The expo will be a regular annual feature and it will be a big advertisement of Gwadar. It will also be a major step forward, creating maximum awareness about the full scope of Gwadar projects. The event will also provide a platform for interaction between local and foreign business entrepreneurs,” he added.

Jiang Han said that the expo would provide an opportunity to reach a large pool of industry stalwarts besides providing a vital platform for interaction between local and foreign business entrepreneurs.

Jiang Han also briefed about the significance of the under-construction Gwadar Airport, Gwadar East-Bay expressway and a lot of other socio-economic activities in the area. Gwadar port is the flagship project of the CPEC and will play an important role in the economic development of Pakistan and the region as well, he added.

Counselor Jiang said that Chinese companies had undertaken exemplary steps for the well-being of the local inhabitants of Gwadar under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

He said the first phase of Gwadar Free Economic Zone comprised of nine square kilometres, while phase two was in progress, which would house manufacturing and processing units. He said the inauguration of free economic zones was good news for investors, which would be a tax-free zone, and thereby attracting future investments from across the globe.

“Investments are a key node of the CPEC. The second phase of the free zone would be completed in two years,” he said, adding that China-Pakistan Friendship School was meant for 150 students but over 500 students were already studying there.

He said China Red Crescent had also launched emergency services in Gwadar, while 12 top-notch doctors from China were serving at the Chinese hospital there.

“These senior doctors would serve for two years, and, upon termination of their term, 12 new doctors from China would replace them, so as the best medical treatment for the local population may continue,” he added.

Counselor Jiang said that China had also launched poverty alleviation programme in Gwadar, adding that Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), along with the local management, would identify the poor families of the town, who would become beneficiaries of the project.

“These families would also be sent to China under a people-to-people exchange programme. The Chinese government would provide funds for their trips to China,” he concluded.