Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) plans to tap the fisher­ies and mining potential of the Balochistan province to bring socioeconomic prosperity to its people. “Proper exploitation of these re­sources is important to improve the socioeco­nomic lot of people in the province,” PCJCCI President Moazzam Ghurki told WealthPK.

He said the chamber was initiating busi­ness-to-business (B-to-B) meetings between the Chinese and Pakistani business communi­ties to promote both the fisheries and mining sectors in Balochistan by attracting local and foreign investors. He said the role of the Chi­na-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), espe­cially the extensively incentivised economic zones, was also vital for socioeconomic pros­perity of the country, especially Balochistan. “It will bring enormous opportunities to the province, especially through Gwadar Port,” he said, adding that Pakistan, Uzbekistan and China had agreed to allocate dedicated spaces in Gwadar and Tashkent for establish­ing warehouses to transport goods to other countries in the region.

“PCJCCI is also inter­ested in starting its own business/consultan­cy projects, especially related to the fisheries and minerals sector.” Meanwhile, an official of the fisheries department in Jafarabad, Balo­chistan, told WealthPK that, on the condition of anonymity, both inland and marine fisher­ies and ancillary business segments needed promotion. “Connectivity through CPEC and special economic zones established here can also play a vital role in boosting this sector.”

He said both inland and marine catch from Balochistan contributed 70% to 80% of the total seafood harvest in Pakistan. “Naseer­abad division is considered the freshwater fish catch hub. Unfortunately, due to the un­availability of processing facilities and poor fish handling, 60% to 65% of the catch goes to waste. Obsolete fishing and handling meth­ods, less connectivity, and a lack of processing units are still causing considerable fish catch waste.” The official said: “Tuna, a marine wa­ter catch from Balochistan, is taken to other countries at cheap rates and after value ad­dition is returned to the Pakistani market at high rates. Establishment of aquatic food pro­cessing units in SEZs in Balochistan is neces­sary to make this sector more sustainable.”