Pakistan Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi on October 8 announced that it has decided to provide tax exemption of 23 years to a Chinese firm working at the Gwadar port in Balochistan. He said that the Government of Pakistan has granted tax exemption to the China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) to facilitate the establishment of its industrial units at Gwadar Port according to a news agency. Zhang Baozhong, CEO of COPHC said the incumbent government has ultimately come out with the result to exempt the tax that has been pending for the past seven years. He said with a hope that due to the business-friendly policies of the government there will be a sharp increase in foreign investments.
Zaidi said that the project had already been operating at Gwadar Port and is exempted from tax for installation of machinery and other equipment at the port. The initiative was a step towards the relocation of the Chinese manufacturing industry in Gwadar and engaging the local labor. The minister said that the move would ultimately bolster Pakistan's economy. He also said that the Chinese firm would also come up with a desalination plant with the cost of Rs 1.95 billion to provide 5,000 gallons of water per day to the people.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is on a two-day visit to Beijing to attend a meeting with Chinese authorities over the recent regional developments and projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being the main focus. Zaidi also announced that China would build Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Training Institute in Gwadar at a cost of around $10 million which would result in offering job opportunities to locals. He also said that the Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital would also be opened on the 68-acre land at an approximate cost of $100 million. A coal power plant for generating 300 MW of electricity would also be established in Gwadar. He also raised the issue of Gwadar port's connectivity with Makran coastal highway. He said about 40 percent of construction work on the Eastbay Expressway had been completed and the rest of the work is expected to be completed by December 2020.