Gwadar to provide high-tech logistic services in six months
GWADAR, April 1 (Gwadar Pro) - To make Gwadar a logistic hub, the government is gearing up to put into action a mega initiative in Gwadar for automation, standardisation and harmonisation of all logistic services related to land, air and sea routes under Pakistan Single Window (PSW) in six months.
In collaboration with National Logistic Center (NLC), the mega initiative aims to facilitate customers (importers and exporters) by guiding and providing all logistics solutions under one window operation. It connects the Web-based One Customs (WeBOC) system with the Gwadar Port, customs, banking channels and other institutions to increase efficiency and reduce the time taken for processing in various departments.
“This will enhance ease of doing business in Pakistan and as a result, it will improve the country’s image and attract foreign direct investment,” an NLC official said. “Licences, permits and other documents issued for imports or exports not only take time but also cost money, which is paid by businessmen,” he said and added “for instance, an import container in Pakistan bears a cost of US$417 and takes 216 hours in the regulation process. In comparison, the neighbouring country incurs a cost of only US$366 and takes 85 hours to clear the same container, while South Korea clears the container in only seven working hours and bears a cost of US$342.
Meanwhile, he said “when the container is exported, it costs US$406 and takes 113 hours in Pakistan in comparison to US $64 and 207 hours in a neighbouring country and US$196 and 14 hours in Korea. So in Pakistan the cost is so high that it hampers our trade with other countries.”
In an exclusive interview with Gwadar Pro, NLC senior manager Mr Ashfaq said that in connection with extending quality logistics services to the business community and ensuring ease of doing business, National Logistics Cell (NLC) has already opened a dedicated office at Gwadar Port in October 2021.
He expected that within six months, NLC will digitalise all logistic processes and procedures to make sure issuance of all kinds of licenses, permits, NOSs and other legal documents to traders within a minimum time under the one window operation.
Chairman Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Naseer Khan Kashani said that the initiative by NLC, the first of its kind by any logistics organisation in Pakistan, will help resolve the problems currently being faced by traders to and fro movement of goods via road from the Gwadar port. “The office will serve as a facilitation centre by providing transportation services to exporters and importers using the country’s deep seaport,” he added.
“As ships docking at the Gwadar port are gaining momentum, there is a need to put in place a vibrant system of logistics services for timely movement of cargo. NLC took the lead to establish the missing link. Besides providing its own resources, NLC will also connect shippers with other truckers and offer end-to-end logistics solutions,” he mentioned.
A Gwadar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) official said that a large number of government departments and organisations have prescribed multiple “Registrations, Licenses, Certificates and Other permits (RLCOs)” for establishing and operating businesses. Many of these RLCOs envisage cumbersome processing through manual application procedures. The launch of the mega initiative in Gwadar will reduce the compliance burden on businesses, he said.
“Gwadar mega initiative through NLC connects government’s 49 trade regulators will help decrease cost and time of the entire process. A Single Window is a facility that permits parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once,” he added.