PM Shehbaz Directs Tapping Full Potential of Maritime Trade

PM Shehbaz Directs Tapping Full Potential of Maritime Trade

Karachi, July 7, 2024 – Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday directed the relevant authorities to take special initiatives to tap the full potential of maritime trade and to spur economic growth.

The prime minister chaired a meeting regarding the Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority, and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation. He emphasized the need to modernize and streamline operations at these key ports to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness on the global stage.

To expedite the customs clearance process, PM Shehbaz directed the installation of modern equipment and machinery at Port Qasim and Karachi Port Trust. He underscored the importance of state-of-the-art scanning machinery to ensure security and efficiency at the ports. “We must fully benefit from the potential of our ports by leveraging the latest technology,” he stated.

In an effort to ensure uninterrupted delivery of goods, the prime minister ordered the Lyari Expressway to remain open for cargo traffic 24 hours a day. Additionally, he emphasized the need to connect the Malir Expressway to the port to further improve the delivery of goods.

Recognizing the critical role of railways in port operations, PM Shehbaz directed the authorities to increase the capacity for the supply of goods to and from Karachi Port through rail transport. He also called for a reduction in fees for LNG ships at Port Qasim, aligning them with prevailing international rates.

“A comprehensive action plan for the regulation of shipping lines should be prepared and presented on priority,” the prime minister instructed. He also urged the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation to formulate and present a plan to reduce its operational costs and enhance efficiency.

Highlighting the strategic importance of Pakistan’s ports, PM Shehbaz shared insights from his recent visit to Kazakhstan, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of Central Asian countries. He noted that Pakistan offers the most suitable sea trade route for Central Asian states, who have expressed deep interest in using Pakistan’s ports for trade. “By introducing modern systems in our ports, we can earn foreign exchange reserves worth billions of dollars,” he asserted.

The prime minister stressed that developing the existing ports in Karachi would boost exports from value-added industries. He emphasized the government’s commitment to fostering the private sector, easing business operations, and facilitating investors. “By the grace of Allah, the economy of Pakistan is stable and moving towards growth and development,” he remarked.

PM Shehbaz reiterated the government’s dedication to providing all possible facilities to exporters to ensure the growth of Pakistan’s export industry. He also directed the Karachi Port Trust to submit a report comparing its performance with other regional ports.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Muhammad Aurangzeb, Jam Kamal Khan, Ahad Khan Cheema, Ataullah Tarar, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Governor Sindh Kamran Khan Tessori, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Chairman PNSC, and other high-ranking officials.