First Chinese trade convoy arrives in Pakistan’s Gwadar port

Islamabad, Nov 12 (IANS) The first Chinese trade convoy carrying 75 containers for export to the Middle East and Africa arrived in Pakistan’s Gwadar port through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor while a Chinese ship docked at the deep-water port, as both countries prepare to formally launch trade activities through the upgraded port.

The ship anchored at the port on Friday and a second trade convoy was scheduled to arrive on Saturday, Dawn online reported.

The goods will be exported to countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The CPEC is a $46 billion network of roads, railways and energy pipelines linking western China to the Gwadar deep-water port on Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast. The corridor passes through Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province.

The loading of 300 containers on ships will be completed on Saturday and they will depart from the port the following day for destinations in the Middle East and Africa, Ary News reported.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend a ceremony on Sunday to mark the opening of trade activities through the corridor.

Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and ambassadors of 15 other countries will also attend the event.

The Gwadar Yakjehti Council took out a procession in support of the CPEC project.

China will invest $46 billion in Pakistan over six years under the CPEC project which links Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province to Gwadar port close to Pakistan’s border with Iran.

About $4.5 billion of the planned investment in the corridor will go towards road infrastructure, with two-thirds of the total $46 billion funnelled towards energy projects.