In a major development, Gwadar Free Zone (phase-II) goes into formal action in true letter and spirit after the initiation of land allocation process and soil testing rolled out by registered companies. Gwadar Free Zone (phase-I) is already completed and functional.
The get-going makes a headway within 32 weeks after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the Gwadar Free Zone (phase-II) during his one-day visit to Gwadar on July 5, 2021 while launching a number of other development and infrastructure projects including an expo centre, agriculture industrial park and three factories.
Agvon, a Chinese company, has formally set in motion its physical work by initiating soil testing investigation, according to its first phase of infrastructure development plan.
On the allocation of 10 acres of land, the Agvon dredging team is working round the clock. “As per agreement, Agvon plans to build a state-of-the-art fertiliser processing plant within the stipulated time period,” Majid, an official of China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), said.
“Another company, Hang Geng, has been allocated 10 acres of land. It will launch infrastructure work after finishing the mandatory licensing process as per set rules and regulations,” he added.
The company intends, he said, to run a pharmaceutical factory that would produce medicine from animal skins.
“More companies, including Essatex Industries, Bari Textile and Idrees Steel, have also entered into agreements. Each of them has also been allocated one acre of land and following the completion of prescribed modalities, procedures will be seen in action soon,” he expounded. Apart from this, another COPHC official said that there is also a big company that aspired for the allocation of 7.5 square km of land, out of a total of 9.3 square km of land of Gwadar Free Zone phase-II.
This company announced an investment of $3 billion to $4 billion that will churn out more than 30,000 jobs.
A senior official of Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) said that with the operation of Gwadar Free Zone phase-II (under-developed) and phase-I (already completed and functional), export-oriented economic activity in Gwadar Port would generate $10 billion per annum. Gwadar Port’s infrastructure has already been completed by COPHC.
Gwadar Free Zone phase-II, designed with unique needs of manufacturing, trading and service industry, will be the beneficiary of tax exemptions, incentives and tax concessions available to investors of the zone issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s Gwadar Tax Free Zone Rules, 2021. According to the draft rules issued by FBR, a goods declaration in respect of goods imported for a free zone along with other documents shall be presented.
The exemptions granted under the Customs Act and Gwadar Port Authority Ordinance, 2002 are applicable to plant, machinery, equipment, apparatus and materials to be used solely within the limits of the free zone and to goods imported into the zone by investors. Duty/ tax-free vehicles are allowed to be imported by the concession holder (COPHC) and its operating company for construction, development and operations of Gwadar Port and free zone area under the regulatory mechanism.
THE ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE CHINA ECONOMIC NET
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2022.