Pakistan and Dubai strengthened their economic partnership by signing two inter-governmental framework agreements valued at over $3 billion on January 18, focusing on collaboration in railways, economic zones, and infrastructure projects, according to a press release.
The agreements, signed by Federal Minister for Communication, Railways and Maritime Shahid Ashraf Tarar and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) from Dubai, were executed during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar witnessed the signing. He emphasized the transformative potential of enhanced exchanges and cooperation between businesses in Pakistan and the UAE during his address to the forum.
The agreements extend cooperation to the development of a dedicated freight corridor, multi-model logistics park, and freight terminals.
The first agreement involves the creation of a rail-based dedicated freight corridor (DFC) from Karachi Port to Pipri Marshalling Yard.
“The rail-based dedicated freight corridor (DFC) was planned to run from Karachi Port on the Arabian Sea, passing through Karachi to the Pipri Marshalling Yard, approximately 50 kilometres away. This will reduce traffic congestion in Karachi, improve road efficiency and transport time besides drastically reducing logistic costs,” the press release said.
PM Kakar welcomed the expansion of DP World, a multinational logistics company, in Pakistan and affirmed the government’s ongoing support for such initiatives.
Pakistan will continue to facilitate partner enterprises to realise its geo-economic vision as a hub of commerce and industry,” the prime minister said.
DP World will undertake infrastructure improvements at Port Qasim International Container Terminal and establish an economic zone near the terminal, attracting more than $3 billion in foreign direct investment.
A second framework agreement with Pakistan’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs focuses on dredging the navigation channel. DP World, representing the Dubai government, will conduct capital dredging and develop an economic zone at Port Qasim, further bolstering economic activities in Pakistan.
Shahid Tarar highlighted DP World’s longstanding presence in Pakistan and emphasized the countries’ commitment to consolidating economic cooperation through landmark projects.
DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem echoed these sentiments, recognizing Pakistan’s growing market and its crucial role as a trade corridor to Central Asia.
“We are proud to have contributed to its trading ability through our operations at Qasim International Container Terminal and are honoured to work with various Pakistani government organisations to develop new freight system and with Port Qasim Authority to enhance port connectivity and investment,” he said.
The signing of these agreements underscored Pakistan’s strategic importance as a gateway to Asia, and the collaborative efforts aim to propel economic growth, improve infrastructure, and deepen the longstanding ties between Pakistan and Dubai.