ISLAMABAD - Gwadar East-bay Expressway project, the main highway linking Pakistan’s deep sea Gwadar port with the hinterland, is to be completed by April 2021, sources in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs said yesterday.

According to the informed sources, the work on the crucial project is gathering pace and will now be completed by early next year. The East-bay Expressway will be providing primary connectivity of the Port and its Free Zone with the network of National Highways to ensure fast transportation of import, export and transit goods.

Gwadar port which is being developed by China is part of the multibillion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In a related development, economic activities at Gwadar port have started last week with the arrival of a ship carrying 17000 tons DAP and 60 percent of these goods are being transported to Afghanistan on 550 trucks via Chaman border.

In a tweet on Friday last, Chairman CPEC Authority and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Asim Saleem Bajwa said that economic activities are underway at Gwadar Port.

Gwadar port is part of multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

He said for the first time bagging of bulk cargo has been done locally instead of foreign ports. He said generation of local employment and boosting transport business are being ensured under the CPEC.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing that China  was "pleased" to see Pakistan's strategically located Gwadar port, the centre of its crucial economic corridor, has started handling transit cargo to Afghanistan from this week.

The CPEC connecting China's resource-rich Xinjiang province with Gwadar port is regarded as the flagship project of the BRI, which is aimed at furthering Beijing's influence abroad with infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investments all over the world.