Gwadar Port Free Zone

(The Belt and Road Initiative)

Updated:2017-04-20 |

Gwadar Port Free Zone

During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Pakistan in May 2013, China and Pakistan agreed to build a China-Pakistan economic corridor to promote energy and transportation infrastructure development, among other projects. During President Xi Jinping’s visit in April 2015, closer bilateral cooperation was again highlighted. A key element of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and an essential component of the Gwadar Port development project, the free zone aims to improve trade logistics, facilitate processing trade, and promote warehousing and financial services.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the free zone was held on September 1, 2016. Attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it ushered in a new phase of the port development that includes the construction of an industrial park. The free zone will be modeled after the Shekou Industrial Zone in Shenzhen, China, comprising a port, an industrial park, and residential and business areas. The Pakistani government will grant tax exemptions to the zone, together with a land lease on preferential terms. Once completed, the free zone will significantly boost the development of Gwadar Port, and spur economic growth in Balochistan and the rest of Pakistan.