Pakistan seeks China’s help in Gwadar port development

August 14th, 2011 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 14 (IANS) Pakistan has sought China’s help to further develop its ambitious Gwadar sea port in the Arabian Sea that is expected serve as a key trade route encompassing the Middle East, China and the Indian Ocean economies.

Part of this development plan will cover rail, road and air connectivity, besides telecommunication network.

The Gwadar port, built with Chinese help, is an important gateway to the Middle East and Indian Ocean economies.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan said his country will welcome Chinese role in the project.

“China has already built the Gwadar port. We of course want to develop it further. We will welcome a role by China in the future,” he told reporters here Saturday.

Though important in itself, the Gwadar port needs to develop its supporting infrastructure — rail, road, air and communication networks, he said.

Naturally, when this network becomes fully operational from Gwadar to Urumqi to Beijing, it will give China alternative choices for trade with the Middle East and Europe, China Daily quoted Khan as saying.

This route would be much shorter than the one through Malacca Straits, he added. Khan said the common goal of the two nations is to see South Asia become a prosperous region.

“We are looking for more Chinese investment in Pakistan,” he said.

“We will help China build a bridge to the Middle East and West Europe. We are also a conduit for China to reach out to the Muslim world,” Khan said.

He said China is already playing a big role in South Asia and could play an even bigger role in the future.

China’s trade ties with South Asian countries, particularly with Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, are growing rapidly, he pointed out.

He said Pakistan and China are cooperating in a range of sectors such as energy, telecommunications, agriculture and infrastructure.

Top Chinese brands are already in Pakistan. “We are working on enhanced and assured Chinese investment in Pakistan.”

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