Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said more than $1 billion in investment from Chinese companies is expected in the second phase of the Gwadar Free Zone, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday.
The statement came after Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the first phase of the Gwadar Free Zone, as well as launching its second phase on 2,200 acres. He also opened three factories, as well as witnessing the signing of the MoU for a desalination plant and a solar energy project during his one-day visit to Gwadar.
Speaking to the press, the federal minister said that Chinese investors had expressed great interest in investing in the northern area of Gwadar, which is 35 times larger than the first phase.
Several investors have vouched investments in different sectors, including Huang Weiguo (textile), Huang Daoyuan (prefab technology), Fang Hongyan (agriculture), Shen Jian (wool spinning), David Dia, and Chen Yi (dairy processing), and Bao Dequan (textile).
Meanwhile, regional countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Egypt, Kenya, and Qatar have also shown their commitment to cooperation in the development of Gwadar.
Several agreements were signed during the prime minister’s visit to the government of China.
The agreements included the implementation agreement on the installation of a 1.2 million gallon-a-day desalination plant to address the drinking water shortage for residents of Gwadar. Other deals included China’s concession for a solar energy project and the launch of the North Gwadar Free Trade Zone.
Moreover, Umar said the prime minister had launched the South Balochistan package worth Rs 600 billion, under which 53 projects were included in the development plan this year.