LAHORE - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has assured investment in energy, infrastructure and textile sectors besides construction of a big industrial city in Punjab. This assurance was given to the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif by Chairman of the bank Jiang Jianqing during a high-level meeting in Beijing. The Chief Minister and the Chairman of Bank participated in the meeting along with their delegations while Chairman Planning & Development and senior officers were also present on the occasion.
As a result of this decision, foreign investment of billions of dollars will be made in Punjab during the next few years. The Chinese officials said that their bank besides providing capital for development projects in Punjab will also help the provincial government in acquiring investment from other international sources and private companies.
Shahbaz Sharif while speaking on the occasion said that the decision of investment by the Chinese bank will greatly help in achieving the targets set in energy and other sectors. He also welcomed the decision of the bank to open its branch in Lahore and assured all out cooperation in this regard.
The Chief Minister also met senior officials of Chinese investment companies and financial institutions besides local investors in Beijing and discussed matters regarding standards, timeline and minimising the cost of development projects. New Chinese investment companies during the meeting with the Chief Minister announced investment in energy and infrastructure sectors. Shahbaz Sharif welcomed the assurance given by new Chinese companies of investment in energy and infrastructure sectors. He said that mutual cooperation between China and Pakistan is increasing speedily.
Shahbaz Sharif while addressing Pakistani delegation visiting Beijing for participating in the meeting of Joint Economic Council said that history has provided a golden opportunity to Pakistan to progress with the cooperation of China and it is collective responsibility to take full benefit in this regard. He said that China has resources, skill and technology and is ready to extend all out help to Pakistan. He said that honesty, commitment and hard work are necessary for availing this opportunity.
Talking to media in Beijing, Shahbaz Sharif said that he has come to China with the mission to change the destiny of Pakistan and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has given a new dimension and depth to Pak-China relations. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will always be remembered as the builder of Pak-China relationship. He said that despite the negative impact of sit-ins, all out efforts are being made to complete the ongoing projects with Chinese cooperation within minimum time. He said that people of Pakistan are waiting for the visit of the Chinese President.
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif held separate meetings with Chinese investors and delegations of China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and China Association of Development Zone. Matters regarding investment in energy, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and other sectors were discussed on the occasion. The Chief Minister offered Chinese investors to invest in one to 120 megawatt hydel power projects in Punjab to which the Chinese investors expressed deep interest. Shahbaz Sharif while talking to a delegation of Chinese investors said that besides ongoing projects, work is also being carried out on new projects with the cooperation of China.
He said that Pak-China agreements are based on transparency, hard work and mutual trust. He said that work is speedily in progress on a coal-based power project in Sahiwal with the Chinese investment. He said that there are also prospects of generation of power through wind energy in Punjab.
Shahbaz Sharif while talking to senior officials of China National Textile and Apparel Council asked CNTAC to invest in Apparel Park near Motorway in Sheikhupura. CNTAC expressed keen interest in the project. He said that there are vast opportunities of investment in the Apparel Park and also assured full protection to their capital. Shahbaz Sharif said that Chinese investors can take the profit to their country. He said that planning has been made to set up separate textile and garment zones in the Apparel Park. The Chief Minister said that Pakistan has skilled manpower in this sector. He said that as a result of cooperation in the project of the Apparel Park, Pakistan will have the opportunity to benefit from Chinese expertise and technology. He said that after the granting of GSP Plus Status, Pakistan can export its textile products to the European countries. He said that the Apparel Park project on Motorway is nearer to Pak-China Economic Corridors. Talking to the delegation of China Association of Development Zone, the Chief Minister said that there are vast opportunities of investment in energy, infrastructure, agriculture, livestock, education, health and other sectors in Punjab and facilities are being extended to foreign investors on priority basis. He said that Chinese investors should benefit from investment opportunities in energy and other sectors in the province where a conducive atmosphere for investment has been created.
He said that Punjab Investment Board is providing all facilities to foreign investors under one roof. Earlier, the Chief Minister was given a warm welcome when he reached Beijing Airport on his visit to China. He along with Pakistani delegation will attend the fourth meeting of Joint Economic Cooperation Council. The delegation comprises Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal and senior officers of different ministries.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif remained very busy in Beijing on the first day of his tour to China. The Chief Minister arrived in Beijing early in the morning after a long journey and in the capital of China held meetings with Chinese investors and officials of financial institutions from morning till late at night. He also met delegations of China National Textile and Apparel Council and China Association of Development Zone. Shahbaz Sharif met Chairman Industrial and Commercial Bank of China who assured investment in Punjab by the bank which is a great success. The Chief Minister also participated in a dinner hosted by Pakistani Ambassador late at night. Despite a long journey and continuous meetings, Shahbaz Sharif was looking fresh.