Islamabad: Chairman Zhang Baozhong of the China Overseas Ports Holding Company Gwadar (COPHC) that operates the Gwadar Port and its free zone, has expressed his determination to turn the city into the single largest contributor to Pakistan’s economy within seven years – a news source reported. He promised that over 47,000 jobs will be created for locals with new investments worth billions of dollars.
Baozhoong shared his plans on Tuesday, after the government announced a 23-year income tax holiday and exemptions of sales tax and customs duties for the Gwadar Port and businesses to be set up at Gwadar Free Zone. He called the ordinance a turning point for Pakistan’s economy. The COPHC Chairman was accompanied by Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar.
The COPHC and its four subsidiaries are responsible for operating the seaport and its economic zones for a period of 23 years.
The concessions had been guaranteed in the Gwadar Port Concession Agreement, but they had to be officially announced and turned into law. So, on Monday President Dr Arif Alvi promulgated two ordinances to set up the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority and Tax Laws Amendment Ordinance 2019.
He said that he believed the coastal city will be the largest contributor to the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) in seven years, and added that 95% of the production in the Gwadar Free Zone would be exported.
Currently, Karachi is the single largest contributor to the national economic output.