China opens new trade channel to South Asia, Middle East
A Chinese-run port in Pakistan is giving China a new trade channel into South Asia and the Middle East.
Government reports from China’s western region have signalled an upsurge in seafood trading out of the port of Gwadar on the Arabian Gulf, with much of the seafood headed to the Chinese city of Urumqi, a logistics hub for China’s northern and western regions.
Gwadar’s strategic importance is a result of its prime geographic location. Built on the Arabian Sea, the port is located near Pakistan’s border with Iran and is also a short haul from the northern Indian coastline, as well as the Gulf and East African coast.
“It’s cheaper to come through Gwadar and then fly from [nearby] Karachi to Urumqi in a couple of hours…then you can reach the rest of China easily,” explained Li Mei Xiang, general manager of the XinJiang Tian Yuan International Logistics Co., speaking on Xinjiang regional television.
Li’s firm has been handling increasing amounts of shrimp though the Gwadar-Urumqi channel.