Pak China cooperation is critical to Pakistan’s socio-economic uplift, PM tells China’s team

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Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday that deepening China-Pakistan economic cooperation was critical to Pakistan’s socio-economic uplift as a delegation of Chinese state-owned Company, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) called upon the premier in Islamabad.
The prime minister stated that Pakistan was open to investment and his government was taking necessary precautions to remove all impediments to further facilitate the investors. He invited Chinese companies to invest in renewable energy in Pakistan, which had great potential, particularly in producing solar energy.
The premier highlighted the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), deeming it a transformational project for the mutual benefit and development of both the countries.
The delegation was led by vice-president of NORINCO International, Wang Xiaobing and CEO NORINCO International (Pakistan), Li Chen. Federal ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Syed Naveed Qamar, Chauhdary Salik Hussain, advisor to PM Ahad Cheema, SAPMs Syed Tariq Fatemi, Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan, Zafar-Ud-Din Mahmood and other officials were also present.
The PM also appreciated the company for its role in the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project, adding that it facilitated hundreds of thousands of commuters daily. He recalled that the project was the first time open bidding took place in a government-to-government project.
The premier added that the practice facilitated further negotiations with the lowest bidder, saving the government 600 million dollars – a milestone in the history of development in Pakistan.
The delegation praised PM Shehbaz for his untiring efforts to steer Pakistan out of the current economic crisis. It noted that prime minister “is a great friend of China whose business-friendly policies have deepened economic cooperation and facilitated foreign direct investment in the country.”
The NORINCO delegation showed keen interest in investing in a wide spectrum of renewable energy projects in Pakistan, especially in the wind corridor in Thatta whereby a 100 megawatt wind power project was proposed. They also discussed investments in fibre optic along railway lines, copper and iron ore mining at proven reserves, and infrastructure development in big cities of the country.
Prime Minister Shehbaz thanked the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang for their consistent and unwavering support to Pakistan, particularly given the economic situation of the country.
Agencies add: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday has asked Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari to convince allies.
Asif Ali Zardari and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called on PM Shehbaz and discussed the current political situation and the new NAB chairman appointment.
Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, former Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique and PML-N leader Malik Ahmad Khan were also present in the meeting.
During the meeting, PM Shehbaz also asked Asif Zardari to convince the allies by resolving their concerns.
On this, former president assured the Prime Minister of full cooperation and said that their concerns will be resolved soon.
Meanwhile, Minister for Board of Investment Chaudhry Salik Hussain called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif here on Thursday.
During the meeting, he apprised the prime minister of the steps taken for the enhancement of investment in the country.