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How will the UAE investment affect the reputation of Karachi port?

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How will the UAE investment affect the reputation of Karachi port?

Officials from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week laid the foundation stone for the UAE-coordinated ‘Karachi Gateway Terminal Pakistan’ at the Port of Karachi, which Pakistani officials and analysts have described as a revolution for maritime trade. Declaring it as a step, it has been said that due to this terminal, the reputation of Karachi Port will increase at the global level.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Qaiser Sheikh laid the foundation stone of Karachi Gateway Terminal at Karachi Port along with UAE Consul General Bakhit Atiq on Monday (April 22).

In April last year, the then Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Sabzwari had announced in a press conference that under an agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the government of Pakistan had increased berths six to nine of the Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited (KGTL). It has been decided to give it to a UAE company.

According to the former Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs: “Under the agreement, the United Arab Emirates will pay five million dollars to the Karachi Port Trust immediately, while it will spend $10.2 million over the next three to five years for the expansion of this terminal.” ‘

The $220 million bulk cargo terminal contract project has now been officially inaugurated, under which Karachi Port’s bulk terminal and ten berths have been leased to Abu Dhabi Ports Group of the United Arab Emirates.

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Along with the inauguration, Abu Dhabi Ports Group gave Karachi Port a check of $2.5 million for the Port Concession Agreement and $50 million as an advance for using the port. Under the agreement, KGTL will pay 15 percent of the annual profit to Karachi Port.

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Kamal Siddiqui, Deputy Manager Marketing and Commercial of Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited, told Independent Urdu that ‘due to the presence of the UAE, a major player in the international market at Karachi Port, its reputation will increase and other countries will invest in Karachi Port. Confidence will be restored for Kari.’

According to Kamal Siddiqui, the terminal to be built under this agreement will have world-class modern development works.

This modern and world-class development project will boost commercial activities at the port. Ships that used to take 15 days to unload or load will now be unloaded in three to four days. With this, there will be an immense increase in commercial activities.’

Under the agreement, the UAE will pay $50 million to the Karachi Port Trust immediately while spending $10.2 million over the next three to five years to expand the terminal (File Photo/AFP)

Importance of Karachi Port

Built in 1857, Karachi Port is one of the largest and busiest ports not only in Pakistan but also in South Asia.

According to Karachi Port Trust’s website, Karachi port handles 2.6 million tonnes of cargo annually, which is about 60 percent of Pakistan’s total trade.

A large part of the export and import goods with the world are shipped through this port and due to its location, Karachi port is also considered as an important trade center between the countries of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Due to its geographical location, Karachi port is located near the Strait of Hormuz, the world‘s most important waterway. The 21-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz is critical for shipping and is located between the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.

The Strait of Hormuz is bordered by Iran on the north coast and the United Arab Emirates and Oman on the south.

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According to Tanveer Ahmad Malik, an expert and analyst of financial affairs and port-related commercial affairs in Karachi, the Karachi Port Gateway Terminal, which was awarded under the contract to Abu Dhabi Ports Group of the United Arab Emirates, was previously owned by a Pakistani firm and its The name used to be Pakistan International Container Terminal or PICT. This terminal was owned by this firm from 2002 to 2023.

After the contract expires in 2023, the terminal has now been given the new name to Abu Dhabi Ports Group.

According to Tanveer Ahmad Malik: ‘Abu Dhabi Ports Group or AD Group manages the Abu Dhabi Port and has the strength to invest and expand the terminal with extensive experience.

‘Therefore it is hoped that the group will not only upgrade the terminal with modern machinery but also bring in world-class experts. This will greatly increase the commercial activities at the terminal.

“AD Group taking over the management of this terminal will not only speed up the loading and unloading of import and export containers, but also increase the interest of international companies.”

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