Chinese investors keen to tap investment opportunities in Pakistan, says Zhang Baozhong

 Chinese investors keen to tap investment opportunities in Pakistan, says Zhang Baozhong

Addressing the Pakistan Energy Development Conference 2022 held at China Business Center in Gwadar Port, Chairman China Overseas Ports Holding Company Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. (COPHC) Zhang Baozhong said that Chinese investors are keen to shift their industries from China to Pakistan. He highlighted that the areas of investment are very diverse and include but not limited to the refinery, assembly, petrochemical, and textile. He requested the Pakistani government to take steps to address the energy needs. Mr. Baozhondg also mentioned that he witnessed close interaction with the Chinese and local population and the security forces coordinated with Chinese citizens working in Pakistan.

Gwadar voices for urgent arrangements of power supply to ensure robust economic growth, business eco-system and logistic activities in Gwadar port as well as the Gwadar region.

The demand for an early supply of electricity was made at Pakistan Energy Development Conference 2022 held at China Business Center in Gwadar Port, according to Gwadar Pro. It was attended by COPHC chairman Zhang Baozhong, GDA Chairman Muneeb Qambrani, GPA Chairman Naseer Kashani, GIEDA official Waqas Ahmed, Gwadar DC Capt Jamil Ahmed, and others.

Chairman COPHC Zhang Baozhong said “with regards to development, there are some issues to be solved and power remains the foremost one. We cannot develop until enough electricity is available.”

“At COPHC, we produce electricity by generators which is very expensive. Chinese investors are keen to shift their industries from China to Pakistan. Areas of investment are very diverse and include but not limited to refinery, assembly, petrochemical, and textile. However, without power, the shift might not be possible,” he said.

“I have been here for 7 years and since then the provision of power remains my prime request on the government. The government has a plan to initiate the 300 MW power plant project. But that is yet to be materialized. I am happy to see this conference discussing energy issues. I hope the power issue will be resolved by the government soon,” he added.

“We have the capacity to generate power on a large scale but if only government is ready to purchase. But that is yet to be reviewed due to the lack of consumer demand in Gwadar due to low population density”, he added.

He recalled that in the past 7 years of his stay in Gwadar, a lot has been achieved. He witnessed close cooperation with the local community. “Our brotherly security forces have coordinated with us a lot. Because of their sincere efforts, I have been comfortable with the existing environment”, he acclaimed.

“Before I set foot on Gwadar, I was very depressed. There used to be no proper residence for Chinese people and we used to stay at PC hotel. Business activities were very limited. There were no significant movements. Nevertheless, now Gwadar has become famous and business activities have gained pace,” he clarified.

In his address, he said “we spent $15 million to purchase 5 new cranes, replacing old ones in order to refurbish infrastructure at the port. LPG Vessel being offloaded today and a container vessel to arrive on Friday are testaments to accelerated port activities. These signals prognosticate good news for the future. However, more needs to be done. Energy issues remain the most prominent,” he added.

On a query, he said that so far, they have invested more than $300 million in Gwadar Port and Free Zone. Important mega projects such as New International Airport, East Bay Expressway, Pakistan China Vocational Training Institute, China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital, and 1.2-MGD plant are some of the grants from the people of China for the local brothers of Gwadar.

“On 17th May, 14 Chinese investors are coming to Gwadar to assess the investment potential of Gwadar and Balochistan. In addition to Chinese, last year we received more than 17 ambassadors from the US, Canada, and countries from the European Union. Undoubtedly, energy provision stays as a prerequisite.

Without energy, no development can be achieved”, he briefed that there are strong intentions from Chinese investors to invest $5 million to set up an oil refinery in Gwadar. Once the plan is materialized, job opportunities can be offered to the locals in addition to the induction of business activities. Other sectors such as lubricants and agriculture are also under consideration. “During my stay in China, I have discussed the matter of meat export from Pakistan to the Chinese market and the government is willing to consider,” he concluded.

News Desk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.