The first Chinese trade convoy, comprising 60 containers, will reach Gwadar on Saturday with goods for onward export from its port.
The vehicles arrived in Quetta amid tight security on Tuesday from Kashgar through the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and after a brief stay left for Gwadar in the evening.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri welcomed the convoy led by the chief adviser of the Xinjiang region.
The Chinese official told the chief minister that 200 containers were on way to the port.
The containers would reach Gwadar on Nov 12 and the Chinese companies would send the goods to the Middle East and African countries through ships from the port.
A representative of the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) said products of Pakistani exporters were also included in the convoy.
He said the inaugural ceremony would be held in Gwadar on Nov 13 where political leaders, military officers and ambassadors of 15 countries would participate.
“This route will remain continuously in use after Nov 13,” he said.
He told the chief minister that oil China imported from Saudi Arabia usually reached Shanghai in 25 to 30 days, while through the Gwadar-Kashgar route it would take about 12 days.
“The goods China imports through the Gwadar port will reach Kashgar in five days,” the official said.
Not only would China save time by using this route but it would also be economically beneficial for both Pakistan and the neighbouring country, he added
The chief minister termed the event an important progress towards implementation of the CPEC project.
He underlined the need for promotion of cooperation between Balochistan and Xinjiang.
The chief minister will visit Xinjiang next month on the invitation of the regional government.