ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to include the multibillion-dollar Karachi Coast Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) as part of the CPEC, a statement said on Saturday.
“The monumental decision was taken at the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC, which was held on September 23, 2021 in Islamabad and Beijing,” the government statement read. KCCDZ, an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, aims to provide Karachi with an area of ââstate-of-the-art urban infrastructure, placing Karachi among the top port cities in the world.
The first of its kind even for CPEC, the multibillion-dollar mega-project KCCDZ will be built on direct Chinese investment in partnership with Karachi Port Trust (KPT).
The amount of expected investments is approximately $ 3.5 billion.
“Developed over a reclaimed area of ââapproximately 640 hectares in the KPT’s western rear water marshes, KCCDZ will be a flagship project not only for Pakistan but for the entire region,” the statement added.
KCCDZ will also provide residential relocation to more than 20,000 families living in the surrounding slums, “in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for promoting low cost housing.” The eco-friendly mega KCCDZ is considering four new berths for KPT, adding depth to Pakistan’s expanding maritime sector. It will also house a state-of-the-art fishing port, with a world-class fishery product export processing area to boost Pakistan’s trade potential. It will also significantly improve the marine ecosystem and reduce pollution by establishing a water treatment plant at the mouth of the Lyari River.
KCCDZ will connect to the rest of Karachi through a harbor bridge rising behind Pakistan’s deepwater port, with exit ramps to the Manora Islands and Sandspit Beach.
KCCDZ also has huge potential for global investors.
“KCCDZ will unlock Pakistan’s unexplored blue economy and dramatically improve development and industrial cooperation between the two sister countries. KCCDZ is a game-changer for Pakistan,” the statement added.
A number of projects under the CPEC, including those in the power sector, are currently experiencing delays due to a variety of reasons, including the ongoing pandemic and excess generation capacity.
The multibillion-dollar economic cooperation had not been able over the past three years to maintain the momentum that allowed a series of power plants and other infrastructure projects to be launched in the first phase of the implementation of CPEC.
However, Planning and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar rejected the perception that CPEC had been slowed down over the past three years and claimed that major work on the corridor projects had been completed during the tenure. of the current government.
âIn fact, a real work on the western corridor of the CPEC has been started by our [PTI] government, âUmar said last week, adding that instead of waiting for Chinese loans, the government had started working on projects from its own resources under the PSDP.