GILGIT ( MEDIA REPORT )

Pakistan and China on Monday began first trade activities under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC).

At least a hundred Chinese containers arrived at the Sust port after getting permission from customs and an inaugural ceremony was held at the port a day earlier, Dawn reported.

The containers made their way to Gwadar after custom clearance.

Chinese officials as well as Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and the Force Commander of Gilgit-Baltistan, Saqib Mahmud Malik attended the ceremony.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Mr Rehman said that the CPEC would change the fate of GB, adding that one thousand Chinese containers would pass through the Karakoram highway in Gilgit-Baltistan every week. “This activity will bring prosperity and end unemployment in the region,’’ the chief minister said.

He said that it was an important day for both Chinese and Pakistani people since trade activity under the CPEC had officially started.

“The federal government has approved projects worth Rs72 billion in the region to provide GB with modern technology. The Shuntar pass, Babusar road and Gilgit-Skardu road would also be constructed under the CPEC,’’ Mr Rehman said.

As part of the security for CPEC, police personnel were posted on the containers.

According to Dawn, the customs superintendent at the Sust port, Ishaq Kiani, said containers loaded with CPEC projects goods were exempted from paying import tax. “Forty-five Chinese containers have departed from Sust and the remaining would leave after clearance,’’ he said.

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