BEIJING: China has granted more than 5 billion RMB for several socio-economic projects during the last 7 years to upgrade the living conditions of the local people of Gwadar 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 the 1.2 MGD desalination plant so far. This was revealed by Chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) Zhang Baozhong during a two-day conference, China Economic Net (CEN) reported. “NGIA will have the longest runway, 3.78 km, in the region, equipped with a capacity to handle the largest aircraft. The tourism sector will inevitably boom,” Zhang said. With its operationalization, new resorts would be established attracting many tourists from China and other countries, he added. While delivering the keynote speech, the chairman COPHC spoke at length about the experiences of his 7 years’ stay in Gwadar. “We are cognizant 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 7 years,” he remarked. He stated three reasons for the promising prospects of Gwadar: the cooperation of the 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 was 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 industrialization, he mentioned. ” After the completion of M8, he said, cargos will be able to reach Lahore and other major cities, reducing the distance significantly. 4 new Chinese investors are coming to Gwadar to explore opportunities and investment potentials in the refinery, textile, petrochemical and agricultural sectors,” acclaimed the chairman. ” COPHC is one of the major players in Gwadar and has undertaken remarkable steps in Gwadar’s development. Gwadar is my second home and we are ready to collaborate with the local community in educational development. We can offer exchange programs for the students and academics of Gwadar. Through the scientific research laboratory we will impart sophisticated know-how 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.