President Pakistan Computers Association (PCA) Munawar Iqbal on Tuesday said deep sea port in Gwadar has the potential to become the main trade hub for this era.
This brilliantly planned project having radically distinctive economic and strategic importance can change the destiny of Pakistan.
Speaking at a meeting at the offices of PCA, Munawar Iqbal said that Gwadar is located only 180 nautical miles from the Strait of Hormuz through which 40 per cent of world’s oil passes.
“The port thus emerge as the key shipping hub in the area providing mass trade to central Asian republics as well as across Pakistan and China,” he said.
He further said that large ports with huge cargo handling capacities can attract business community if efficient, modern and transparent customs services were also made available.
“The efficiency, transparency and speed that has become available to Customs today through the Automated Customs system of PaCCS, was the only logically solution for Gawadar,” said Munawar Iqbal.
He said that traditional systems will make cargo wait for days pending clearance which will hamper development of this great project.
“Serious choking of the port may take place if modern, electronic and automated systems were not used,” he warned adding that authorities should consider rolling out PaCCS beyond Karachi to as many customs stations as possible to enhance trade facilitation and to boost revenue collection.
He said restricting the benefits of PaCCS to only the port at Karachi was unfair to the traders of other areas of the country, he observed.
Karachi port has transformed a once sleepy fishing village to a mega polis and we hope that Gwadar port will directly and indirectly bring lots of wealth, trade and infrastructure advancement to the area which has been traditionally left behind in development.
Munawar Iqbal said that the multi-billion-rupee projects of Gwadar port and Rs 7.5 billion Gwadar Airport should be connected to the rest of the country through world class network and roads.
“These facilities should be fully automated so that importers as well as exporters can carry out business activities successfully and with peace of mind.
He said that capacity of 4,300-acre Gwadar airport should be increased to handle 1.5 million passengers and 70,000 tons of cargo a year.
Business community hope that political leadership will use their acumen to pacify negative feelings among some locals to get maximum advantage of the project, said Iqbal.
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