ISLAMABAD: First bulk cargo ship has reached the port city of Gwadar, a government official said on Saturday.
“The cargo ship, namely MV Manet that is part of Afghan Transit Trade is carrying wheat and urea,” said Gen Asim Bajwa (Retd), special assistant to prime minister on information. Bajwa, who is also the chairman of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA), in his tweet, said with this development a dream had come true for the local economy, as it would stimulate a host of business activities in the country.
The cargo containers would be transported by road to Afghanistan, he said, adding that Afghanistan is a landlocked country, mostly rely on Pakistani overland routes for its international trade and, for this purpose, the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) has been signed in 2010 to use two seaports in Karachi for transportation of the goods to and from Afghanistan.
However, the deep sea port at Gwadar offers a much shorter route for Afghan cargo, he said. The first cargo ship carrying containers for Afghan transit trade had arrived at the Gwadar in January this year.
The port is the center part of the mega project of CPEC being executed with the assistance of China to improve connectivity between the two countries, in particular, and with the whole region, in general, Bajwa said.
CPEC is a multibillion project of around $60 billion, which includes various projects such as construction of roads and railways infrastructure, electricity projects, airports, special economic zones, agriculture, and the projects for the socioeconomic development of the local communities.