‘KCCDZ to boost Pakistan’s blue economy’
ISLAMABAD: The inclusion of the Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone (KCCDZ) in the CPEC framework would boost industrial development cooperation between China and Pakistan and help Islamabad unlock its untapped blue economy, said Board of Investment (BOI) on Friday.
Secretary BOI Fareena Mazhar and chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Nadir Mumtaz met senior officials of the ministry of Maritime Affairs to discuss the project. Mazhar said the joint working group was fully committed to the projects under its domain and would ensure all-out efforts for early development of KCCDZ.
She informed that the coastal zone was being built with an investment of around $3.5 billion. The plan includes infrastructures for the fishing port and advanced fisheries exports processing zone that would boost country’s trade potential in the region. A water treatment plant was also in line to restore the marine ecosystem and reduce pollution in the area, she added.
It is to be noted that KCCDZ is an initiative of the ministry of Maritime Affairs aimed at providing Karachi with an ultra-modern urban infrastructure zone, with an aim to place Karachi amongst top port cities of the world.
The port city project was included in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC) last year in September. It spans over 930 hectares, of which over 600 hectares are reclaimed. It envisages four berths for KPT. Nadir Mumtaz said the project’s spadework was being expedited for early development of KCCDZ. He informed that the meeting discussed issues related to the project and also their possible solutions.
The ministry said KCCDZ would unlock country’s unexplored blue economy and significantly enhance development and industrial cooperation between the two countries.
Pakistan has a 1,050km long coastline and 2,90,000 sq. km of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with unexploited natural resources and opportunities.
Blue economy initiatives ensure sustainable use of the ocean resources for economic growth thereby protecting and supporting the eco-system and environment. Some of the sectors include fisheries, shipping, sweater salination, deep-sea mining, aquaculture, and maritime transport, coastal tourism, cruise ship industry, port activities, shipbuilding, and offshore oil and gas.