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Friday, 10 April 2015

Pakistan extends Gwadar Port tax exemption to 23 years

The Chinese-run Gwadar Port in Pakistan has been given a 23-year tax exemption by the government’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in a bid to stimulate further growth at the hub and ease the country's mounting energy crisis.

Located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Straits of Hormuz, the deep-sea hub at Gwadar is on an important route for oil tankers bound for Japan and western countries out of the Middle East. 

The port is also a strategic link in China’s planned East-West trade route and the extended tax-break was partly driven by pressure from the port’s operator China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), a sign of the country’s growing influence in the region.

The ECC announced the extended the tax holiday period for Gwadar Port and the Gwadar Port free zone alongside changes to legislation which mean that LNG prices will now be determined on a monthly basis as opposed to by public hearings.

Pakistani authorities are keen to attract foreign investment as long term subsidies have distorted energy markets leaving a shortage of available capacity. As a result the country is urgently seeking investment to improve port infrastructure and rapidly increase Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports.

This month, the ECC also extended a five-year complete tax holiday to Engro’s Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL).


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