Pakistan green lights Karachi port deal with UAE, amid Abu Dhabi's 'ports buy-up'

Pakistan green lights Karachi port deal with UAE, amid Abu Dhabi's 'ports buy-up'
2 min read
21 June, 2023
The agreement, which would facilitate port administration to Abu Dhabi Ports, is part of an ongoing effort by Pakistan to raise government funds.
Pakistan has sought to raise funds amidst the potential expiration of a 2019 IMF deal (Aliraza Khatri via Getty Images)

Pakistan has approved a framework agreement that would hand over four berths of the Karachi port to the UAE.

The five-year framework was approved during a meeting by the Cabinet Committee on Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions on Tuesday, with the agreement now being passed onto the federal cabinet for approval.

The administration of berths six to nine would be handed over from the Pakistan International Containers Terminals to Abu Dhabi Ports.

A formal agreement between the two companies is required to ensure that Abu Dhabi Ports can operate the port terminals.

The commercial agreement is not contingent on the framework agreement, which can either be extended past its intended five-year lifespan or terminated.

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The potential deal marks an ongoing effort by Pakistan to raise funds, which has recently struggled to revive a $6.5 billion International Monetary Fund deal that will expire at the end of June.

It comes amid a conference hosted by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry that seeks to create a sustainable economic plan on Pakistan’s debt management and growth management.

The deal is also a continuation of efforts by the UAE to take control of ports around the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, where the UAE has deals to develop the Eritrean port of Assab, ports around Somalia and its breakaway regions, among others.