China grants over 5 billion yuan for socio-economic improvement of Gwadar

ISLAMABAD: China has granted more than Y RMB 5 billion to Gwadar on several socio-economic projects over the past 7 years to improve the living standards of local people through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives ).
This was revealed by Chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC), Zhang Baozhong, during a two-day conference on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives held in Gwadar. .
He pointed out that the grant is dedicated to New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), East Bay Expressway, 300-bed China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital, Vocational Training Institute and China-Pakistan Technical College, China-Pakistan Gwadar Faqeer College, China-Pakistan Brotherhood Emergency Center and Desalination Plant 1.2 MGD so far.
“NGIA will have the longest runway, 3.78 km, in the region, equipped with capacity to accommodate the largest aircraft. The tourism sector will inevitably explode,” Zhang said. With its operationalization, new resorts will be established attracting many tourists from China and other countries, he added.
While talking at length about the experiences of his 7-year stay in Gwadar, the President of COPHC said, “We are aware that Gwadar deserves faster development to live up to the expectations of the local people. It is undeniable that it has developed a lot in the last 7 years.
He stated three reasons for the promising prospects of Gwadar: the cooperation of the Gwadar people, their vast resources and their strategic location. “The people of Gwadar deserve respect and development,” Zhang said.
Mr. Zhang clarified that the port of Gwadar is fully functional. Some problems exist like logistics and lack of market demand, however, development is an evolutionary process and Gwadar is on the road to industrialization, he mentioned.
After the completion of the M8, he said, cargo will be able to reach Lahore and other major cities, greatly reducing the distance. “4 new Chinese investors are coming to Gwadar to explore investment opportunities and potentials in the refinery, textile, petrochemical and agricultural sectors,” the president said.
COPHC is one of the major players in Gwadar and has achieved remarkable milestones in the development of Gwadar. “Gwadar is my second home and we are ready to collaborate with the local community in the development of education. We can offer exchange programs for Gwadar students and scholars. Through the scientific research lab, we will impart sophisticated craftsmanship to local youth,” Zhang said. It has been observed that for the pursuit of a clean and green Gwadar, more than 50,000 plants have been planted, mostly led by COPHC.
Co-organized by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Islamabad, Gwadar University and COPHC, speakers included Commodore Jawad Akhtar, Maritime Affairs Advisor, COPHC Chairman Mr. Zhang Baozhong, Chairman of Gwadar Port Authority, Mr. Naseer Khan Kashani, Vice Chancellor of University of Gwadar, Prof. Abdul Razzaq Sabir, and President of IPS, Mr. Khalid Rehman.
The conference was followed by a panel discussion and an in-depth question and answer session. Civil society representatives from Gwadar surveyed CSR initiatives undertaken by Chinese companies in Gwadar, to which COPHC authorities responded satisfactorily.
Finally, the media team visited the China-Pakistan Vocational and Technical Training Institute and other sites under CSR to see the pace of progress. They interacted with local students to observe their perspectives. Visitors appreciated the efforts of Chinese companies in overhauling the health and education systems and in providing job opportunities to the people of Gwadar.

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