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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Karachi coastal zone: Pakistan’s golden steps into blue-economy

The KCCDZ is the latest addition to CPEC projects aimed at providing Karachi with an ultra-modern urban infrastructure zone, placing it among the top port cities of the world. The Karachi Coastal Com­prehensive Develop­ment Zone (KCCDZ) spread over 640 hectares or 1,581 acres on the western backwaters marshland of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) will revamp one of the oldest city slums areas relocating its more than half a million population.

The Pakistan government, under the leadership of Imran Khan, has launched a multi-billion-dollar project in the city of Karachi under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Karachi coastal zone project (KCCDZ) in the CPEC development initiative is said to be a game-changer for Pakistan and also for the countries that are on board the CPEC development project. Pakistan has a 1,050km long coastline and 2,90,000 sq. km of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with unexploited natural resources and opportunities.

The initiative has been started by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. The project plans to build a state-of-the-art urban infrastructure zone in the city of Karachi. This brings Karachi to the top seaport cities of the world.

Read more: WATCH: PM Imran Khan travels in Karachi without protocol

What is the Karachi coastal zone project?

“The monumental decision was taken during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC, held on 23rd September 2021 at Islamabad and Beijing,” said a Pakistan Government official.

The Karachi coastal zone project (KCCDZ) in the CPEC development initiative spreads over a vast area of 640 hectares or 1,581 acres. The plan is to develop a modern fishery board connected by a Harbour bridge connecting Manora Islands and Sandspit beach, a Fisheries export processing zone, a water treatment plant, and 20,000 affordable housing units.

The present-day Pakistani regime cares a great deal about the climate. We have seen Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in the United Nations regarding climate change and also the Billion tree tsunami campaign in which Pakistan has set new precedents for saving the planet earth. To prosper responsibly, the KCCDZ initiative is going to be an environmentally friendly one, with considerations for the climate.

Read more: Karachi’s Turk Masjid, a landmark of Pak-Turkey connection

What will this project include?

The plan includes a world-class fisheries export processing zone which will boost Pakistan’s trade potential in the region and a water treatment plant to restore the marine ecosystem and reduce pollution in the area.

The Pakistan maritime ministry is also focusing on empowering blue economy initiatives. 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, and cruise ship industry, port activities, shipbuilding, and offshore oil and gas.

“KCCDZ will unlock Pakistan’s unexplored blue economy and significantly enhance  development and  industrial cooperation  between Pakistan  and China,”  the maritime ministry statement said. Pakistan Government claims that this project bears the huge potential to attract global investors as well.

“Inclusion of Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone in CPEC is a game-changer. Will clean up our marine habitat for fishermen, develop 20k low-income housing units, & present opportunities for investors,” Imran Khan tweeted.


Pakistan is on its way towards a more stable and flourishing economy

The plan seems to be responsible for growth, which includes the neighboring countries so that the entire region prospers together. Pakistan government official has signaled about the Taliban-Led Afghan government’s interest to come on board the multi-billion dollar CPEC infrastructure project.

“Regional connectivity is an important element of our discussion with Afghan leadership and our way forward for our economic interaction with Afghanistan,” said Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s envoy to Kabul, in an interview with Reuters. “This important project — China Pakistan Economic Corridor … provides good opportunities, good potential for providing infrastructure and energy connectivity between Afghanistan and Pakistan … (and) also connecting South Asia to the Central Asian region.” He added.

Read more: Karachi’s new administrator fails amid massive flooding

Other than India and a few other like-minded countries who continue to adopt delusional policies and poor alliances, the entire central Asian and middle eastern region together with Afghanistan are interested in investing in the Pakistan-China CPEC project. For investors as well as the local population, this initiative will prove to be a gold mine. With CPEC’s careful and timely expansion in Karachi and Pakistan Government’s environment-friendly policies, Karachi is set to become a strong competitor for the present-day seaports in the world.


The author is an Independent Pakistani writer and researcher specializing in 5GW and Geopolitics. She can be contacted at @HumairaWajahat. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.