Gwadar projects making steady progress: Chairman COPHC Zhang Baozhong

BEIJING (PEN):Chairman China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), Zhang Baozhong said that Gwadar multiple mega projects underway with the investments of Chinese and Pakistani investors and various social sector schemes are progressing well.

With investments made by Chinese and Pakistani investors, Gwadar has multiple mega projects underway which include the Gwadar Free Zone, New Gwadar International Airport, Gwadar Gymkhana, Gwadar Master Plan, and the 6 lane East Bay Expressway.

“Progress is also taking place in the social sector with projects like the Vocational Training Institute, international standard hospitals, and plantations in the city,” he told China Economic Net (CEN) while talking about the ongoing developments in Gwadar and their impact on the economy of Pakistan.

Zhang said that Gwadar Free Zone Phase-I is already completed and added facilities of Gwadar Free Zone Phase-I is as good as any other free zone in the world with the facilities of never interrupted power supply, water supply, telecommunication, drainage system and office etc.

He informed that more than 36 investors have already been registered with Gwadar Free Zone and among these investors 60% of from China and the 40% are local.

“We are looking forward more Pakistani businessmen to join the development of Gwadar Free Zone,” he added.

Terming the New Gwadar International Airport as one of the most important projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and for all the Pakistan, he said that the new airport is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to promote tourism industry in Pakistan.

The new international airport after the completion will play important roles in the development of Gwadar, he added.

The Chairman of COPHC said that this airport has a longest runway in this region, and even the biggest aircraft like the Boeing A380could be landed in this airport and it will bring more tourist to Gwadar.

“I believe now that the contractor together with our Pakistani brothers and sisters are working day and night, and it is expected that the operation could be started by the end of this next year under the completion date is early 2023,” he added.

About Gwadar Gymkhana, he said that it will definitely play a very important role in the development of Gwadar port, adding, “I personally have experience of the hospitality provided by Gymkhana in other cities, and I believe that Gymkhana in Gwadar will not only make doing business easily for the investor, but also will promote industry, especially tourism industry in Gwadar.”

He expressed the confidence that it will give a lot of chance of employment of the local people and hoped that more and more members will enjoy the nature, the hospitality under the friendship of Gymkhana as well as our local culture.

The Gymkhana will make more VIP investors, doing business easily in Gwadar even in the whole Pakistan, and in this region, he said.

Regarding Master Plan, he said that it plays very important role in any city. “It is very difficult to change once the construction is already there, and we’re very happy that the authority understands the issue.”

Zhang expressed gratitude to the Chinese government that approved funds for development of Smart Gwadar City plan and termed it as one of the best smart city plan he has seen in the world.

He hoped that this master plan will be fully executed as a plan. “And I believe that if we follow this master plan, Gwadar will be developed as one of the most beautiful convenient city in the world.”

About Eastbay Expressway, he said that it will bypass the Gwadar port city and minimize the traffic disturbance so, this dedicated Eastbay Expressway will make the port more efficient, and less disturbance to the local brothers and sister.

Sharing progress on the social sector development schemes, he said that construction of the Vocational Training Institute is already completed and handing over will be done by the end of this year.

“This Vocational Training Institute will not only increase employment opportunities for the locals but also it will help the operation of Gwadar port and Free Trade Zone,” he added.

He said that under this Vocational Training Institute, it definitely will help resolve shortage of engineers and technicians faced by investors.

On 300-bed hospital, he said that it is already under construction and it will help resolve medical treatment issues faced by locals for the past decade. “And I do believe this modern hospital will resolve the issues of medical treatment.”

He said that tissue plant laboratory in the cultivation greenhouse, adding, “From the tissue laboratory, we use the most advanced technology to clone different varieties of plants, and our target is to make our local brothers benefit from such kind of research.”

“We will help locals so that they can plant it in their own home and plant more trees and the flowers,” he added.

Zhang said, “This will not only help to improve the environment issue, but also our local brothers will get some immediate economic returns.”