Chinese infrastructure giant builds fishing port in Pakistan as "gift" for locals
China’s infrastructure investments in Pakistan are opening up the local fisheries sector on the Arabian Sea, with a major Chinese power station builder completing a fishing port as a “gift” to local people.
State-owned China State Power Investment Corp., which is building several power plants in Pakistan, said a new fishing port in Lasbela region on the Arabian Sea would aid the economy and increase the efficiency of the local fishing community in Baluchistan Province (of which Lasbela is part).
Baluchistan is a gas-rich region bordering Iran. One of Pakistan’s least-developed provinces, Baluchistan is the focus of a huge Chinese investment program, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is set to build USD 45 billion (EUR 39.3 million) in Chinese-financed roads connecting western China to a port and manufacturing zone in Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. Baluchistan covers 477 miles of the 682-mile-long Pakistani coastline and the province export large volumes of low-value species to China and the Middle East.
SPIC’s projects in China include a USD 2 billion (EUR 1.8 billion) coal-fired power plant being built for its partner, Pakistan’s Hub Power Company Ltd. Chinese banks have lent USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.3 billion) for the project, which has been the focus of protests by locals worried over its environmental impact on local marine life and air quality.
In a statement thanking the company, the provincial minister for fisheries, Mir Akbar Askani, said he welcomed further foreign investment in fisheries. A delegation from Baluchistan visited some of China’s leading distant-water fishery firms recently in what could signal a new Chinese presence on the Arabian Sea. Hosted by the local government in Fuzhou, which posted a statement publicizing the visit, the delegation visited Fuzhou Hong Dong Yuan Yang Fishing Co., and the offices of Ri Sheng Hai Yang Ocean Resources Development Co.
“More and more Chinese companies are coming to Baluchistan and are engaging in projects of social responsibility to benefit local communities,” Guo Chun Shui, commercial counselor at the Chinese consulate in Karachi said in the statement.