The Port of Karachi to be operated by the UAE

The port of Karachi, Pakistan’s main port is to be operated by the ADP Group, a UAE-based company, for at least 25 years.
karachi port

In the face of the economic crisis it is currently confronting, Pakistan has chosen to negotiate a trade agreement with the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to entrust them with the management of the terminals at the Port of Karachi, the country’s main port infrastructure. On June 23, 2023, the government of Shehbaz Sharif approved the concession project of the Port of Karachi to the UAE for a duration of 25 years (with a possible additional 25-year-extension).

The Port of Karachi will be operated by Abu Dhabi Ports Group (ADP), which is already active in ten ports and terminals in the UAE. This group has also established numerous partnerships in the maritime world, particularly with COSCO and CMA-CGM.

In exchange for this concession, the ADP Group will pay $50 million but, more importantly, it commits to investing $102 million in port infrastructure, including the construction of new docks, over the next five years.

The amounts involved in this transaction are relatively modest, and this concession will not put an end to Islamabad’s economic problems. However, beyond the financial aspect of this agreement, it is a means for Pakistan to strengthen its already close ties with UAE companies and benefit from the economic environment of the ADP Group.

By integrating the ADP Group, the Port of Karachi will gain visibility and become part of an extensive and attractive network among maritime operators. This operation could also attract new investors to Karachi, the economic center of Pakistan.

While Pakistan needs to restructure its debt, it also needs to attract foreign investors once again. The modernization of the Port of Karachi under the concession of the ADP Group could breathe new life into the southern region of the country and create a favorable dynamic for the arrival of foreign companies.

Now, Pakistan and the city of Karachi must develop new programs to encourage foreign investors and local businesses to take advantage of the development of the Port of Karachi.


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