*Shahbaz says leadership visits foreign countries to solve country’s problem
Basic purpose of foreign visits of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leadership is to overcome energy crisis and develop infrastructure, transport and education sectors with the help of friendly countries, said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif while talking to representatives of media in Bao on the second day of his visit to China on Thursday.
The chief minister said it is for the first time that historic agreements of mutual cooperation have been signed with China not only at Pakistan but at the Punjab level as well. He especially referred to the efforts for exploration of iron ore reserves in Rajwa, Chiniot and said that a historic agreement was made with a Chinese company in this regard at the beginning of the current month. He said that the agreement with the Chinese company has paved the way for the setting up of the first coal-powered steel mill in Pakistan which will also result in creation of more than one hundred thousand job opportunities for the people of the area.
He said that the initial results about the quality of iron ore in Rajwa, Chiniot are highly encouraging and the standard of iron ore found in this area is not less than that of Brazil, Russia and India. He said that there are also reserves of other precious minerals in Rajwa, Chiniot. He said that as a result of the agreement signed with the Chinese company, the exploration of iron ore and other precious minerals will open up a new era of progress and development in the country.
Replying to a question, the chief minister said that in the wake of the granting of GSP Plus status, the Punjab government has evolved a project with the cooperation of a big Chinese group for setting up of the Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park which will be equipped with the latest facilities. He said that the Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park Project is of vital importance for development of textile and garments sectors and the Chinese group will make investment of two billion dollars in the project which will also generate thousands of job opportunities.
He said that the same Chinese group has also expressed interest in cooperation in setting up two coal power plants of 660 megawatt in Sahiwal and two similar plants of 135 megawatt in industrial estates. The chief minister said that the massive cooperation of Chinese companies in the process of progress and prosperity of Pakistan is reflective of the growing trade and economic relations between the two countries.
He said that China has always played a vital role in the progress and development of Pakistan and indeed a new era of Pak-China friendship has begun. He said that the relations between the two countries have turned into useful economic ties.
Shahbaz further said that the investment-friendly policies of the PML-N government have restored the confidence of foreign investors and several Chinese companies are making investment in energy, infrastructure and transport sectors in Pakistan. He said that special facilities and incentives are being offered to Chinese investors. He also thanked Chinese friends for the love and hospitality shown to him at official and unofficial level during the visit to China.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif in the company of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif met the Chinese Prime Minister Li KeQiang and Exim Bank Chairman and President Li Ruogu. Matters of mutual interest and bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting with the Chinese prime minister.