Port infrastructure company Zhuhai Port Holdings Group Co Ltd has pulled off a coup of sorts by bagging a 6.5 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) construction order from China Overseas Port Holding Co, a State-owned company which operates the Gwadar port in Pakistan.
Zhuai Port shares jumped 10.07 percent on Thursday, the highest intraday gain in a month, after the development.
Gwadar, the first foreign port in China's Belt and Road Initiative, aims to link China with Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia for common development. The Chinese company inked the deal ahead of the 2015 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, which kicked off on Thursday. According to Wu Yuping, business manager of China Overseas Port Holdings, the project will not only boost economic development in Balochistan province where the Gwadar port is located, but also connect Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and other western provinces in China with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Iraq.
"Gwadar will be the marine transit point for regional transshipment, storage and transportation, "Wu said.
The port is at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and close to several important sea routes like the Strait of Hormuz, through which passes most of the global oil shipments. It is the third-largest port in Pakistan and one of the major deep-water ports in South Asia and the Middle East with strategic location.
The joint construction of Gwadar port, at the confluence of China's new trade initiatives－the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road－has been a milestone in bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Earlier this year, the Gwadar port and Zhuhai port inked a memorandum of understanding, declaring the two cities twin ports.
As per the agreement, the two sides will team up for cooperation in harbor construction, personnel training, route exploration, goods supply, logistics warehouse construction and an information platform.
The agreement will also promote the construction of Guiyang-Guangzhou-South Asia international logistics channel and deepen governmental and industrial cooperation between Hong Kong-Macao-Pearl River Delta area and Pakistan's Gwadar region, to better connect China's southwestern region to the world while promoting economic prosperity of the two countries.
China Overseas Port Holdings has also signed a 1 billion yuan deal with Huafa Group, a State-owned enterprise headquartered in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, to construct a 250,000-square-meter Chinese commodity trading center in Pakistan.
The center can be used for exhibitions, bonded warehouses, international purchases, transfer and delivery services, processing and customs clearance, to promote commercial exchanges between China and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.