The governments of Pakistan and Dubai have inked more than $3-billion investment pact on cooperation in railways, economic zones and infrastructure at the World Economic Forum (WEF), currently taking place in Davos, Switzerland.
As per a release issued by Pakistan’s Press Information Department (PID) on Thursday, authorities have signed two Inter-Governmental Framework Agreements to strengthen relations in the marine and logistics sectors, including the potential establishment of a dedicated freight corridor and economic zone near Karachi.
“The agreements were signed at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, on 17th January 2024, by Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Federal Minister of Communication, Railways and Maritime Affairs, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), Government of Dubai,” read the statement.
Under the agreements, Dubai’s state-owned port giant DP World will act on behalf of the Government of Dubai, while Pakistan Railways and Port Qasim Authority will act on behalf of the Pakistan Government, for the development of the projects.
DP World, Pakistan’s JW Holding sign MoU to develop SEZs in Pakistan
Under the first agreement, a rail-based dedicated freight corridor is planned to run from Karachi Port on the Arabian Sea, passing through Karachi to the Pipri Marshalling Yard.
“The corridor will help reduce congestion in Karachi besides improving road safety. It will significantly improve efficiency, transport times and reduce the overall cost of logistics,” read the statement.
A second framework agreement was signed with Pakistan’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs to dredge a navigation channel.
Under this agreement, DP World will carry out the capital dredging on behalf of the Government of Dubai. This agreement will also see the development of an economic zone at Port Qasim, which aims to attract more than $3 billion of foreign direct investment.
“The signing of Investment Framework Agreements highlights the importance of Pakistan as a gateway to Asia and commercial dividends associated with its strategic location,” said Shahid Ashraf Tarar.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of PCFC and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “Pakistan is a growing market and an important trade corridor to Central Asia.”
“We are proud to have contributed to its trading ability through our operations at Qasim International Container Terminal and are honoured to work with various Pakistani government organizations to develop new freight systems and with Port Qasim Authority to enhance port connectivity and investment,” he said.