Abu Dhabi & Gulf Countries committed $500 million in investment, Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs, Faisal Sabzwari.

Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Faisal Sabzwari, announced that a contract worth $500 million is being negotiated with gulf countries, including Abu Dhabi. The intergovernmental agreement policy has been formulated and will be submitted to the Law Ministry on Monday. If approved, it will pave the way for direct foreign investment as per the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These remarks were made during his speech at an event organized by the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI).

Prominent personalities present at the event included the President of KATI, Faraz-ur-Rehman, Deputy Patron-in-Chief Zubair Chayya, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Senior Vice President Nighat Awan, Vice President Muslim Mohammadi, Chairman Port Qasim Authority Rear Admiral (Retd.) Nasir Shah, CEO KITE Limited Zahid Saeed, Former President Masood Naqi, Gulzar Feroz, Johat Qandhari, Danish Khan, Sheikh Umar Rehan, Syed Farooq Mazhar, and Administrator Korangi, Muhammad Sharif Khan.

The Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs further stated that Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates are working under the G2G (government-to-government) agreement, and work is underway on three projects, including Bulk Terminals. He said that 1,250 acres of industrial parks would be established in Port Qasim, where foreign investors interested in industrial parks would be provided facilities.

He mentioned that there have been no increases in tariff charges at the port, digitalization has not been implemented, restrictions on leases have been imposed, and a loan of $102 million has been taken from the World Bank, which has significantly limited KPT’s financial resources. He added that terminal charges have now been increased from 60 cents to 80 cents, resulting in a marginal increase of only 1.5% in the cost of production for industrialists.

He also mentioned that all stakeholders, including container operators, have been consulted on the reduction of demurrage charges and other penalties at the port, and as a result, Karachi Port has eliminated all its penalties.

Faisal Sabzwari further stated that the country had an outdated shipping policy that was a hundred years old, and it has now been revised to meet modern requirements. This policy has been sent to the Law Ministry for approval to seek endorsement from the assembly.

He mentioned that a maritime vessel is being added to the Karachi port fleet to transport edible oil. It is desired that KPT should have a better presence with 42 maritime vessels.

The federal minister also announced approval for establishing a beach wall at Karachi Fish Harbor for tourism and recreational purposes. He said that instructions have also been issued to prepare a lab for marine fisheries.

Earlier, President KATI Faraz-ur-Rehman welcomed the Federal Minister to KATI and emphasized the need for regulating shipping companies. He proposed the implementation of a system for demurrage charges and penalties that would be based on the value of the container. He suggested that the demurrage charges system should be made available online, similar to the booking system WEBOC for shipping. President KATI highlighted that in the past initiatives were taken to improve the infrastructure of Karachi, including the funds provided by railway, steel mills, and other sectors, and called for further funding from the KPT.

Deputy Patron-in-Chief Zubair Chayya stated that Pakistan possesses a 1,400-kilometer-long coastline with the best marine resources, including highly sought-after fish species. He emphasized the need to utilize the coastal belt for tourism, which could lead to significant economic benefits. Chhaya suggested that if the Dubai ferry service from Karachi was not feasible, the government should consider initiating a ferry service to Gwadar.

Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan proposed that the government has offered tax-free zones to attract five industrialists for investment in Faisalabad.

KITE Limited CEO, Zahid Saeed, believes that utilizing the land in Port Qasim for industrial purposes would promote industrial growth. Saeed expressed concern about the skyrocketing land prices in Karachi, which have led investors to explore opportunities in other cities. He also praised the collaborative efforts between KPT Limited and the Sindh government in promoting industrial development in Korangi.

Saeed further stated that if the KATI provides assistance and allocates grants for developmental projects, KITE Limited could further enhance its progress.

Chairman of the Standing Committee and Vice President Muslim Mohammadi emphasized the need for 24-hour scanning operations at the port. He also highlighted the importance of training programs for single-window operations and urged the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to play a proactive role in addressing the challenges faced by the fisheries industry. He acknowledged the high potential of the fisheries sector in Pakistan.

Photo Caption: President Faraz-ur-Rehman presenting a shield to Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Sabzwari, Zubair Chayya, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Nighta Awan, Muslim Mohammadi, Chairman Port Qasim Rear Admiral (R) Nasir Shah, and Nasir Sheikh is also present.


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