First trade activities under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) began as over a hundred Chinese containers arrived at the Sust port in Gilgit-Baltistan after clearance from customs.
Sust is a village in Hunza. It is the last town in Pakistan on the Karakoram highway before the Chinese border.
The inaugural ceremony on Monday was attended by Chinese officials as well as Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and the Force Commander of Gilgit-Baltistan, Saqib Mahmud Malik, Dawn news reported.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Rehman said that under the CPEC the fate of Gilgit-Baltistan would change, 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.
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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,” Rehman said.
Speaking to Dawn news, 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.