BILATERAL RELATIONS

Pakistan pledges deal with Lapsset ahead of berth launch

Preparation of container yards for the second and third berths is ongoing

In Summary

• Says Lamu stands to benefit from the already existing bilateral relations between Kenya and Pakistan. 

• The exact date of the commissioning of the berths has yet to be set owing to challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

@ppcheti

The Lapsset Corridor Development Authority is seeking to attract more foreign investors to boost bilateral relations ahead of the commissioning of the first three berths at the new port.

The three berths were completed in July.

 

The construction of the 1.2km long and 18-metre wide berths cost the Kenyan government Sh48 billion and was undertaken for four years from 2016.

So far, preparation of the container yards for both the second and third berths is ongoing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was to commission the first berth at Lamu Port last year in November but that did not happen.

Over the weekend, Lapsset CEO Sylvestre Kasuku hosted Pakistani High Commissioner to Kenya Saqlain Syedah on a tour of the port.

Syedah pledged to push for a partnership between the Pakistani Government and Kenya in the various strategic areas, particularly the Lamu port.

He observed that Lamu stands to benefit from the already existing bilateral relations between Kenya and Pakistan, especially through trade partnerships that could be triggered by the China-Pakistan Corridor via the Gwadar Port and the Lapsset, upon completion.

Pakistani's Gwadar Port is a deep-sea port situated at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, close to the Strait of Hormuz that is the third-most engaged route in the world, running 35 per cent of world sea trade by the Arabian Sea.

 

Pakistan borders China in the Northwest, Afghanistan in the West, India in the East, Iran in the Southwest, and the Arabian Sea in the South, offering a strategic transport and trade to business in Central Asia and the Middle East.

"I believe this upcoming port will be of great value to this region in terms of trade and other ventures. It will not only promote international trade between Kenya and Pakistan but other countries around the globe as well,” Syedah said.

Kasuku said the three berths will present a strong case for private sector involvement in constructing the remaining 29 berths and other components of the corridor, including the Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

"The SEZ will be situated in the Lamu Port City and will, in turn, provide an ideal Freight Logistic hub, an Industrial hub, Information-Communication and Technology park and a world-class tourist and recreational zone once the Lamu Port becomes operational," Kasuku said.

The exact date of the commissioning of the berths has yet to be set owing to challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lamu Port Project plan includes a 32-berth port, transportation hubs for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar, an oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to Lamu Port, an oil refinery and three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.

The port is poised to begin operations, first as a transhipment hub for global shipping lines that will be supported by the Special Economic Zone.

 

Edited by R.Wamochie