We all know that China are heavily involved in projects across the international port city of Gwadar. The strategic coastal location on the south western tip of Pakistan plays a pivotal role in CPEC.
We’re aware that all of these organisations, and their acronyms, can get a little confusing at times and we shall outline the work of COPHC – the Chinese Overseas Port Holding Company?
What are COPHC’s responsibilities?
The wider COPHC organisation is based on Hong Kong and one of its main focuses involves overseeing overseas projects that work to the benefit of China. Here in Pakistan, the country is so important to the Chinese nation that the Chinese Overseas Port Holding Company has granted the port its own separate organisation. In turn, there is a section of the COPHC website that is dedicated to the city of Gwadar and it’s here that the organisation’s duties are underlined.
There are lots of projects in development around Gwadar as we know but the role of the Chinese Overseas Port Holding Company is to take responsibility for those that are specific to maritime activities. To summarise, COPHC’s aim is to take Gwadar and turn it into a maritime hub that will benefit the whole region, including areas such as China and the Central Asian Region (CAR).
What projects are COPHC specifically involved with?
COPHC have already seen a number of projects in Gwadar come to fruition and included among these is the inauguration of Gwadar International Terminal. The date here goes right back to November 13th 2016 and it was one of the most significant moments in the city’s history.
This was the day when the very first export made its way out of Gwadar Port. A day earlier, a trading convoy consisting of 160 containers had progressed through a CPEC shipping lane and had docked in Gwadar. Subsequently, Prime Minister General Raheel Sharif officially inaugurated the first export ship out of Gwadar and sent it on its way.
In more recent times, there have been additional projects undertaken by COPHC and another important development was announced at the end of March 2019.
What does the future hold for COPHC?
We’ve recently seen news relating to Gwadar’s International Airport taking centre stage. After Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the official groundbreaking ceremony at Gwadar Expo 2019, work will now continue on this vital part of the city’s transport network.
Reports relating to the airport were always going to dominate the show but there was some important maritime news at the same time. In his speech to assembled dignitaries Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Gwadar would soon receive a new passenger and cargo ferry line. This would link the city to Karachi and then on to Qatar.
The COPHC have been involved in some key projects in the past but clearly their work in Gwadar is far from over.