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  • May 12th, 2018
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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi formally inaugurated Hutchison Ports Pakistan here on Friday. The Hutchison Ports Pakistan is the purpose-built, deep-water container terminal in the Port of Karachi - the first of its kind in the country.

Hutchison Ports Pakistan is a public-private partnership of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Hong-Kong-based Hutchison Ports. The terminal is one of the most advanced in the region, having broken its own productivity record four times and serviced some of the largest containerships in the world since test operations began on 9 December 2016. Its high performance is expected to raise Pakistan's global trade competitiveness and set a strong foundation for further economic growth.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the Prime Minister said that the port is an historic achievement for the country and the PML-N Government has actively supported this initiative along with several other regional infrastructure and connectivity projects across the country. "Ports in general and Hutchison Ports Pakistan in particular are an integral part of Pakistan's economic development and will contribute significantly to change Pakistan's economic landscape for the better," he added.

The Prime Minister announced that the government would include Expressway and Elevated Bridge in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). He said it would help ease transportation of cargoes from the Deep-Sea Port to the upcountry. He said the present government has achieved many mile-stones during its five-year tenure. He said that new power projects of over 10400MW electricity were completed by this government. The government has also completed 1800 kilometer highways and started work on 1700km motorway that will be completed by the end of next year.

He said general elections would be held on time. Hutchison Ports Pakistan is said to have equipped with state-of-the-art technology to facilitate seamless operations. The terminal will launch a new regional operations centre in December 2018, allowing it to engage in remote ship planning for ports in other markets that are part of the Hutchison Ports network. In sum, the facility's technological advantages significantly reduce cycle times and provide substantial cost savings to exporters and importers.

Minister Maritime Affairs Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said that capital-intensive mega-development projects such as Hutchison Ports Pakistan will enable optimized trade, supporting the national economy. He pointed out that 97 percent of Pakistan's international trade was handled through seaports and that the Ministry was committed to integrating the country' ports.

Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar, Chairman of KPT, affirmed that the terminal will establish Karachi as a major hub for trade, playing a vital role in unlocking Pakistan's trade potential KPT has invested over US$800 million to prepare the site for the container terminal, to dredge the deep-water channel, and more.

Hutchison Ports Managing Director, Middle East Africa, Andy Tsoi stated that the company is committed to the continued development of Pakistan and aims to provide local industries with a unique and well-equipped gateway to world markets.

Captain Syed Rashid Jamil, General Manager and Head of Hutchison Ports Pakistan, said that Hutchison Ports Pakistan already plays an important role by creating the conditions for accelerated trade and will further magnify the Karachi's potential, transforming a it into a prime Asian hub for trade and transport activities. Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, State Minister for IT Anosha Rehman, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah were also present on this occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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