LAHORE - A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Punjab government and the Chinese Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), here on Monday. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion. Secretary Minerals Dr Arshad Mehmood and Vice President Li Jingkai from CMEC signed the document on behalf of Punjab government and the Chinese Corporation respectively. Under the agreement, the Chinese company will cooperate Punjab in coal exploration development and its economic utilisation. The Chinese company will also extend cooperation in setting up a power plant to be operated with local coal. Experts of the company will soon reach Punjab and start coal mining in Salt Range. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif welcomed the MoU between provincial government and CMEC and said Pak-China friendship has turned into strategic partnership. He said that Chinese leadership wants progress and prosperity of Pakistan and the investment package of $32 billion announced by China is a proof of this fact. The Chief Minister said that as a result of the biggest foreign investment in the history of Pakistan, not only its economy will stabilise but development projects will also be completed and large number of job opportunities will be created. He said that coal reserves of 600 million ton are available in Punjab which can be utilised for power generation and the MoU signed with Chinese company is an important step in this direction. Vice President CMEC Li Jingkai on behalf his company pledged all out cooperation for coal mining and setting up of power projects in Punjab. He also assured to implement the agreements in energy and coal mining sectors expeditiously.