China has granted more than 5 billion RMB (renminbi – official currency of China) in Gwadar for several socio-economic projects during the last seven years to upgrade the living conditions of the local people under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

The grant is dedicated to New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), East Bay Expressway, 300-bed China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital, China-Pakistan Vocational and Technical Training Institute, China-Pakistan Gwadar Faqeer Middle School, China-Pakistan Fraternity Emergency Centre and 1.2 MGD desalination plant.

This was revealed by China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) Chairman Zhang Baozhong during a two-day conference on CSR initiatives in Gwadar.

“NGIA will have the longest runway, 3.78 km, in the region, equipped with the capacity to handle the largest aircraft. The tourism sector will inevitably boom,” Zhang said.

With its operationalisation, new resorts will be established, attracting many tourists from China and other countries, he added.

While delivering the keynote speech, the COPHC chairman spoke at length about the experiences of his seven-year stay in Gwadar.

“We are cognisant of the fact that Gwadar deserves more rapid development to live up to the expectations of the local people. There is no denying the fact that it has developed much during the past seven years,” he remarked.

He stated three reasons for the promising prospects of Gwadar, ie the cooperation of Gwadar people, its vast resources, and its strategic location.

“The inhabitants of Gwadar deserve respect and development,” Zhang added.

Zhang made it clear that Gwadar Port is fully functional. Some problems do exist like logistics and lack of market demand, however, development is an evolutionary process and Gwadar is on its way towards industrialisation, he mentioned.

After the completion of M8, he said, cargoes will be able to reach Lahore and other major cities, reducing the distance significantly.

“Four new Chinese investors are coming to Gwadar to explore opportunities and investment potential in the refinery, textile, petrochemical and agriculture sectors,” acclaimed the chairman.

“Gwadar is my second home and we are ready to collaborate with the local community in educational development. We can offer exchange programmes for the students and academics of Gwadar. Through the scientific research laboratory, we will impart sophisticated knowhow to the local youth,” Zhang pronounced.

It has been observed that for the pursuit of a clean and green Gwadar, more than 50,000 plants were planted, predominantly spearheaded by COPHC.

The conference was followed by a roundtable discussion and



Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2022.

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