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Gwadar to be leading trading port in the region: Pakistani minister

ISLAMABAD, July 13 (Xinhua) — Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar said on Saturday that a comprehensive plan is being made to develop Gwadar port in the country’s southwest Balochistan province on modern lines, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Addressing a press conference here, Bakhtiar said that the country’s blue economy has a huge potential and a comprehensive plan is being made to enable Gwadar to emerge as a leading trading port in the region.

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A master plan regarding the development of the former fishing town is in final stage, and once the plan is implemented it will attract foreign investment, making Gwadar a transshipment hub, he said.

Talking about CPEC’s significance, Bakhtiar said that the project is the manifestation of decade-long close and strong relations between Pakistan and China, and the current government considers the economic corridor a landmark initiative for harnessing the future economic development of Pakistan.

“Pakistan was in acute energy shortage, and due to circular debt no one wanted to invest in energy sector of Pakistan, but at that crucial time Chinese companies came to Pakistan’s rescue and helped us produce electricity. If energy projects were not developed under CPEC, even now Pakistan would have been facing the challenges of energy shortage,” Bakhtiar said.

He said that CPEC has entered into its second and broadened phase, which will be focused on industrialization, agriculture cooperation, Gwadar port development and socio-economic prosperity.

The minister said that the Pakistani government has decided to form an authority directly under the development ministry to provide multi-sectorial coordination and coordinate efforts for the development and implementation of future CPEC projects.

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