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DP World to develop new projects in Pakistan

Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Pakistan's minister of communication, railways and maritime affairs, signs the agreements with DP World at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Wam
Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Pakistan's minister of communication, railways and maritime affairs, signs the agreements with DP World at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Global ports operator DP World and Pakistan government entities have agreed to build a freight corridor and economic zone near Karachi.

The freight corridor is planned to run from Karachi Port on the Arabian Sea, passing through Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city, to the Pipri Marshalling Yard, nearly 45 km away, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported.

This will improve efficiency and transport times, as well as reduce the overall cost of logistics.

The state-run Pakistan Railways and Port Qasim Authority will act on behalf of the Pakistan government for the development of the projects.

Headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan Railways owns and operates 8,000 km of railway line, from Torkham in the northwest to Karachi in the south.

A second agreement was signed with Pakistan’s ministry of maritime affairs to dredge a navigation channel.

DP World will carry out the capital dredging to help develop an economic zone at Port Qasim, which aims to attract more than $3 billion of foreign direct investment.

“Pakistan is a growing market, and an important trade corridor to Central Asia,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World.

DP World began operations in Pakistan in 1997 at the Qasim International Container Terminal.

The cost of the projects was not given.

The UAE extended Pakistan’s debt repayment of $2 billion for another year, State Bank of Pakistan governor Jameel Ahmad confirmed to The Express Tribune, a Karachi-headquartered English news outlet.

All the formalities for the rollover of the UAE loan had been completed, he added.

Negotiations began on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Pakistan and the UAE last January, as both countries plan to build on the $10.6 billion bilateral trade registered in 2022.

Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE, described the talks as “very important”, adding that he hoped there would be “significant progress” by the end of 2023.

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