ISLAMABAD: With alarming speed, the government on Tuesday asked the Federal Cabinet to approve a draft framework agreement with UAE’s Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) for the transfer of port assets on a G2G basis.
The Cabinet Committee on Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions (CCoIGCT), led by the finance minister, reconvened within 24 hours of its second meeting in a week and “recommended the Federal Cabinet to approve the draft framework agreement”, an official statement said.
The CCoIGCT on Monday established a four-member inter-ministerial “Framework Agreement Committee” to negotiate a draft agreement between the governments of the UAE and Pakistan under the Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions Act 2022 to further strengthen ties between the two countries. In the maritime sector, it started with the Karachi Port Trust’s (KPT) container terminal.
The Framework Agreement Committee, headed by Secretary Law and Justice Raja Naeem Akbar and comprising Secretary of the Maritime Ministry Ghufran Memon and an additional secretary each of the Ministry of Finance and Foreign Affairs, met early Tuesday morning.
Also in attendance were Abdul Aziz AlBalooshi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP), General Manager of Legal Saboor Karamat and Mustafa Ahmed Emirates, Dubai Aerocity, Dubai World and FlyDubai among others.
The meeting discussed the draft framework agreement received earlier in the morning article by article and agreed on the terms of the agreement. It was immediately brought to the pending Dar-led CCoIGCT “for consideration and recommended approval by the Federal Cabinet”.
According to the terms of the draft agreement, the goal is to “create favorable conditions for the operation, maintenance, upgrade, investment, development and advancement of the KPT East Terminal’s berths 6 to 9 container terminals.
The coordination and control of the implementation of the agreement will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of the UAE and MOMA of Pakistan.
The UAE government will nominate “Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC (AD Ports)” as its designated entity, while Pakistan will declare KPT as the corresponding designated entity. The two Designated Entities shall reach and agree on the technical, economic and commercial terms of the transaction. Another committee, led by Maritime Affairs Minister Faisal Ali Sabzwari, is due to meet early next week to finalize the terms for the facility to be taken over by a new concessionaire.
Posted on Dawn, June 21, 2023