Islamabad: The China Overseas Ports Holding Company Gwadar (COPHC) Chairman Zhang Baozhong has announced that the master plan of the Gwadar Free Zone has been completed and it will be implemented in four phases over a period of seven years – a news source reported.
He said that once the zone is fully developed in seven years, over 47,000 jobs will be created for the locals, and its annual sales will be USD 1 billion.
The announcement came on the back of an ordinance recently promulgated by President Dr Arif Alvi that allowed a tax exemption for Gwadar.
Providing details of the special economic zone, he said that 41 investors had already come forward to invest about USD 500 million in the Gwadar Free Zone for the first phase. He added that these industries are being set up in various sectors like logistics, edible oil, piping, and halal food.
The chairman stated that this investment is expected to create 5,000 jobs for the locals in phase one alone. He added that the free zone developer had made it binding for the investors to complete the physical infrastructure within six months, so that production could start within one year.
He also mentioned that in order to promote advanced technology-based industries in the Gwadar Free Zone, the developer might offer free plots, cheap financing, and free housing facilities to such investors.
While speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi voiced his hope that the SEZs’ incentive package would be finalised soon.