“The Pakistani government is very supportive of Chinese enterprises investing in Gwadar Port and has given multiple preferential policies including tax-free incentives. Free Zone is now booming,” said Liu Hui, deputy general manager of China Linyi Trade City Co, a Chinese enterprise that has been operating in Gwadar Port Free Zone（FTZ） for many years.
Before 2015, the FTZ was just an idea. Now the FTZ has attracted some 20 companies in banking, insurance, logistics and food processing with a combined investment of USD420 million, from China and Pakistan, and it has generated 1,200 jobs.
Inside the FTZ, China Linyi Trade City Co, a merchandising firm, invested in warehousing facilities.”We have fully undertaken warehousing service of the Gwadar Port – Afghanistan fertilizer transit trade since September 2020. It has completed the storage services of 800,000 tons of fertilizer by March 2023. In 2021, our warehousing service promoted the re-export trade by USD 60 million, highlighting the role that Gwadar Port has played in connecting surrounding landlocked countries.” Liu Hui introduced. The company’s project in FTZ consists of a commodity exhibition center and bonded warehouse with multiple functions of exhibition, bonded storage and transit trade.
“This December, we will host the third Gwadar Expo, which will reach out to 15 surrounding countries, including Middle East countries, the Gulf states and neighboring Muslim countries.” She added.
With the improvement of Gwadar and the surrounding infrastructure, the permanent resident population grew from 80,000 in 2013 to 220,000 in 2023. The port operator aims to build Gwadar into a smart port city by 2050 with a total population of more than 1.7 million and an annual GDP of $30 billion.
“Every day the Chinese in Gwadar bathed in the friendship and care of the local people, they see Chinese companies as the only hope for Gwadar’s future,” said Zhang Baozhong, former chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Co, the operator of the Gwadar Port. “By fostering a secure environment for development in some areas, and using these areas as economic locomotives, it is believed that we can help, in a gradual fashion, increase the national strength of Pakistan.”