The governments of Dubai and the of Pakistan have signed two Inter-Governmental Framework Agreements to strengthen their relations in the marine and logistics sectors. Image Credit: Supplied

Davos: The governments of Dubai and Pakistan inked two inter-governmental framework agreements to strengthen their relations in the marine and logistics sector during the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. This cooperation includes the potential establishment of a dedicated freight corridor, multi-modal logistics park, freight terminals, and economic zones.

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Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Federal Minister of Communication, Railways and Maritime Affairs of Pakistan and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, signed the agreement.

DP World in Dubai will represent the Dubai government. In contrast, Pakistan Railways and Port Qasim Authority will represent the Pakistani government in the development of the projects, DP World announced on Thursday.

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Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem 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 Qasim International Container Terminal operations. We are honoured to work with various Pakistani government organisations to develop new freight systems and with Port Qasim Authority to enhance port connectivity and investment.”

The DP World Chief said these projects would help serve Pakistan’s growing population, forecasted to approach 300 million in the coming decade and integrate it further into the wider region. DP World began operations in Pakistan in 1997 at the Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT).

Meanwhile, Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Federal Minister of Communication, Railways and Maritime Affairs, said, “The signing of Investment Framework Agreements highlights the importance of Pakistan as a gateway to Asia and commercial dividends associated with its strategic location”.

Dedicated freight corridor

The Dedicated Freight Corridor will run from Karachi Port on the Arabian Sea, passing through Karachi to the Pipri Marshalling Yard, approximately 45 km away. “This will improve efficiency and transport times and reduce the overall cost of logistics,” said DP World.

Headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan Railways is Pakistan’s national, state-owned railway company, owning and operating nearly 8,000kms of railway across the country, from Torkham in the northwest to Karachi in the south.

Qasim International Container Terminal

A second framework agreement was signed with Pakistan’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs to dredge the navigation channel. DP World will carry out the capital dredging on behalf of Dubai.

Development of economic zone

This framework agreement will also see the development of an economic zone at Port Qasim, which aims to attract more than $3 billion in foreign direct investment. DP World will develop the economic zone to maximise economic activity in Pakistan.