De-dollarization begins in Gwadar Free Zones


ISLAMABAD, JUN 24 (DNA) — In a defining moment, de-dollarization has kicked off in Gwadar free zones in the backdrop of the final decision enshrined in the federal budget 2024-25 which allows all companies in the Gwadar Free Zones to exercise their trade transactions in Pakistani currency instead of the US dollars.

Under the amended SRO.805 (I)/ 2024 Customs Rules 2001, conditions of dollar transactions between the Gwadar Free Zone and the tariff area (Pakistan’s markets and industries that work out of the jurisdiction of Gwadar Free Zone) have been stricken down.  Now Gwadar Free Zone and the tariff area will do business in Pakistani currency.

 This impetus will protect trades of both sides from the fluctuations of the dollar. An official of Gwadar North Free Zone Company “Agven Private Limited” told Gwadar Pro that as per new procedural changes, modules of an e-custom clearance system “Web Based One Custom” (WeBOC) are being modified to make things happen.

In the coming days, he said, a high-level meeting between Gwadar Port Authority, Pakistan Custom, FBR and other stakeholders will take steps for further cohesive mechanism to realize required modalities.

“It seems to be breath of fresh air for millions of Pakistani traders doing their businesses in tariff areas because with the new development, they will get encouraged to expand their trade with companies of Gwadar free zone areas. 

Hence not only tariff area traders will make good bucks but also traders in Gwadar Free Zones will make roaring business,” he added. China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) official said that investors and operators of the Free Zone have hailed the development as a watershed moment in the progress of Gwadar Free Zones.

Currently Gwadar North Free Zone, also known as Phase II, covering 2221 acres, houses two export-based Chinese companies that have started operations, namely, Agven Private Limited, a fertilizer exporter, and “Hangeng”agricultural industrial park, along with its branches “Hangeng Trade Co (SMC-PVT) Ltd” and “Yuanhua Industrial Co., Ltd.

Agven Private Limited is the first investor that has set up an industry in Gwadar North Free Zone on the procured 10 acres of land. Its production facility has an initial annual production capacity of 20,000 tons of sulphuric acid, offering hundreds of job opportunities and providing local business opportunities in terms of commodities and raw material supply.

Hangeng Trading Co., Ltd, will foster cultivation and purchase of agricultural products like aloe vera and import pharmaceutical raw materials globally for processing in the Gwadar Free Zone and export to China. 

Yuanhua Industrial Co, Ltd will mainly engage in animal husbandry and livestock development. The industrial park will create 1,000 direct and 3,000 indirect employment opportunities for locals. Besides, lubrication Oil firm Hengmei Technological Grease Company, textile company Essatex industries, etc. have also agreed to build plants here. — DNA