Chairman China Overseas Port Holding Company honoured with Global Ambassador Award
As a public diplomacy initiative, the Diplomatic Insight Group (DIP) organised the 4th Global Ambassadors Award Ceremony to acknowledge the services of ambassadors and diplomats, heads of international organisations, businessmen for the promotion of the people-to-people communication, business, trade, and constructive bilateral relations with their respective states and missions.
As a result of outstanding contributions towards building Pakistan’s strong partnership with China on behalf of the people of Pakistan, the Diplomatic Insight Group conferred an award to Mr Zhang Baozhong, CEO/ Chairman China Overseas Port Holding Company Pvt. Ltd (COPHC). This was a humble tribute to his hard work and commitment to Pakistan-China relations, promoting Gwadar port, philanthropic work and investment in Pakistan.
From serving as a visiting professor at the Central South University of Forestry and Technology, to being the CEO/ Chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company Pvt. Ltd, Mr Zhang Baozhong has evolved a lot.
Mr Zhang Baozhong started as a professor at the Central South University of Forestry and Technology and then served as the Director China Red Cross Society. Afterwards, he has also worked as Director China Peace and Development Fund, and now he is the CEO/ Chairman China Overseas Port Holding Company Pvt. Ltd.
Mr Zhang Baozhong assumed the position of chairmanship in 2015 and has been serving Gwadar Port with optimal diligence and wholehearted commitment. Later on, he paid momentous attention to overhauling the socio-economic conditions of the locals through facilitating community services in Gwadar.
Not to forget that he has taken concrete steps in the provision of basic health, education, water, power, transport, and other infrastructural facilities to Gwadar and also worked to develop the whole Gwadar city as an economic and investment hub instead of focusing on just port and free zone.
It is worth saying that Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone have comprehensively changed the landscape of Gwadar. Mr Zhang persistently strived to convince the commercial container vessels to operate on a regular basis. Owing to Mr Zhang’s strenuous efforts, Gwadar Port is fully operational despite the worldwide shutdown due to the ongoing pandemic. In 2021, 150,000 metric tons of cargo have been processed in Gwadar Port, which is a milestone.
Under his leadership, the first phase of Gwadar port has been completed, and 46 companies have been registered and currently offered jobs and business opportunities to locals. It is grateful that he has devoted himself to attracting more Chinese investments to Gwadar.
Projects like New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), East Bay Expressway, Pakistan-China Vocational training Institute, Friendship Hospital, Faqeer Colony Girls Middle School, Fraternity Emergency Center, and 1.2 MGD Desalination Plant are the brainchild of Mr Zhang. It is worth saying that realising the lousy conditions of locals, COPHC has ensured that around 85% of the employees are locals or from Balochistan, a percentage which is much higher than government agencies.
Lastly, Mr Zhang worked for the Women Development Center and Goat Farm. These initiatives are a source of income to more than 20 needy families of Gwadar.