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The COPHC new project covers an area of 923 hectares. and allows for the improvement of transport flows with permanent tax. and customs exemptions. The authorities are working to develop access to. and from the free zone to ensure. that Gwadar Port remains a viable alternative for transport-dependent industries.

COPHC improvement of transport

The new project covers an area of 923 hectares. and allows for the COPHC improvement of transport flows with permanent tax. and customs exemptions. The authorities are working to develop access to. and from the free zone to ensure. that Gwadar Port remains a viable alternative for transport-dependent industries. China Overseas Pakistan Holding Company (COPHC-Pakistan). which is a key part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. and the construction of the Gwadar port. which is a major node for China’s OBOR, is at best a company with an unclear credit history and at worst a dodgy company.

Securities and Exchange Commission

Its profile, background, and key management. According to documents filed by COPHC-Pakistan. with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). apart from three shares (one for each of the three directors). the remaining total of 10 million shares owned by Hong Kong-based COPHC Limited. declared to owned by COPHC Pakistan has not filed its annual accounts for 2017. It has not filed annual accounts with SECP since its inception in Pakistan in October 2014. Under Pakistani law companies. with a share capital of 10 million rupees or more required to file annual accounts with SECP.

Rapid-growing startup

BR Research notes that SECP. which recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with COPHC. Pakistan to set up a facilitation office in the port of Gwadar. has sent a notice to COPHC Pakistan (9 February 2017). explaining why it has not submitted its annual report. mentioned. Accounts and other updated documents. But this is a secondary issue It’s a red flag of a “rapid-growing startup” in one room. It is often referred to as the classic paper company. Especially if the room shared by at least four other companies.

Chinese companies active

COHPC-Hong Kong could be a vehicle. for a group of Chinese companies active in businesses such as port operation. port development and port financing. But until then.. those involved in transferring the port to COPHC. and those overseeing the port will need to know and disclose the details of the consortium. After all, they have set the center pillars of the aisle. and it is not uncommon for them to share the details of union parties. Selling strategic stocks to the Pakistan Stock Exchange. is one recent example of this.

COPHC-Pakistan’s parent company

After seeing the red light. BR Research reached out to a number of stakeholders to obtain profiles. and backgrounds of COPHC-Pakistan’s parent company and its key management team. But when asked for evidence. they said they had no evidence, and just “assumed” that COPHC was a state-owned enterprise. BR Research has also sent letters/emails.. and phone calls to both COPCH Pakistan. and Gwadar Port Authority officials seeking information about COPHC’s parent company. based in Hong Kong. it’s been almost a week and no one has officially responded yet.

Entirely new company

China wants ports all over the world. The case has attracted the attention of international media. such as the Financial Times. and The Economist Intelligence Unit. as well as international research firms such as Drewry Maritime and Shipping Consultants. Several detailed reports. and studies on this topic have published in recent months. The three Chinese buyers of ports and terminals (Cosco. China Shipping and China Merchants) are the most prominent in these reports. These investigations did not include COPHC. even though COPHC is not an entirely new company. according to Hong Kong government documents. Founded in August 2012.

Bidding committee chaired

When Pakistan bid to develop the Gwadar port in 2006. major port operators from Dubai, Saudi Arabia. China and Singapore participated in build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract bids. The bidding committee chaired at the time by Farooq Rahmatullah. a veteran and respected energy expert. in consultation with Arthur D. Little, the chief advisor to the Gwadar Port. Singapore’s PSA International won the bid. When COPHC awarded the port concession in 2013. after years of default by PSA International. there was no shortlist. If there is, then it certainly hasn’t posted. The port was simply handed over to COPHC. the media reported silence on the company’s profile. and background and most observers assumed it was a Chinese state-owned company.

Flagship project of OBOR

But no one knows for sure. Do Chinese state-owned enterprises have one-room shared offices? Given that COPHC-Pakistan housed in one room in Hong Kong. one inclined to think that there is something fishy about COPHC-Pakistan. But on the other hand. I would like to clear up any suspicions that this is likely. the Chinese way, especially given. that the Chinese government is also closely involved in the development of Gwadar. This column fully supports CPEC. But this does not come at the expense of transparency. CPEC is the flagship project of OBOR. Gwadar is the reason for the existence of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The development of Gwadar as a city is important.

Accustomed to responding

It is the successful development of the Gwadar port. that will bring life back to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Unless the port is successful. no amount of urban development will turn Gwadar into an emerald. But Pakistanis both individuals. and companies, are not familiar with the company. that has held the Gwadar port concession for 40 years. Chinese people may not accustomed to responding to masses. But here in Pakistan the public is sensitive. to democratic standards of transparency and accountability. As a private company COPHCL may have every right not to disclose details. its main companies, but the Pakistani government cannot afford such secrets.

Strategic asset

The port is a strategic asset. the public, especially companies. have the right to know who holds the fate of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. before formulating a grand plan of action. The Chinese government has also warned. that the Belt and Road plan risks becoming an international joke. Because the foundations of the China Pilot Project (CPEC). should taken care of by companies that are unreliable at best and questionable at worst.

Also read: Gwadar today

Jaxson henry
Jaxson henry
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