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ISLAMABAD: Chairman China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Lt. Gen. (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa on Monday said that work for Iran’s trade through the Gwadar Port (in and out) was in progress and the trade would start soon through the port.

“The Ramadan-Gabd crossing point near Gwadar is active and fully functional now, fencing work with Pakistan-Iran border is going on rapidly and new border markets are being established at the crossing points,” he said adding the smuggling to and from Iran is decreasing due to increase in regulated trade.

In his video message, the Chairman said after completion of development works of Gwadar Port and first phase of Gwadar Free Zone, Prime Minister Imran Khan was going to perform the ground breaking of second phase of the Zone.

He said as compared to the first phase which comprised of 60 acres of land, the second phase would be a huge project comprising of 2200 acres of land.

Chairman Bajwa said around 7 to 8 big Chinese investors from Shanghai would also participate in the ground breaking ceremony where they would make commitments in Gwadar Zone and inform about their future plans in Pakistan.

He said some 46 enterprises were engaged in the Free Zone phase-I while 12 factories were being established out of them three were completed.

He informed that the traffic at the port was increasing everyday and last year the trade volume increased by hundreds of times as 60,000 MT of cargo was transported during the year 2020-21 compared to only 1300 MT in the preceding year.

Besides, he said five LPG vessels were berthed at the Gwadar Port.In future, he said the cargo volume would increase with even higher pace as interest for transshipment and industrialization was increasing with every passing day.

He said the Prime Minister would also sign an accord for installation of desalination plant in the city with capacity of 1.2 million gallons per day. He said the project would complete within a year and this would be a gift from the Chinese government.

Furthermore, he said another water desalination plant with capacity of five million gallons per day was also included in the Prime Minister South Balochistan package.

Provision of basic facilities including electricity, water and health was the prime focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said.