CHIEF Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has said that there is a wide scope of cooperation between Pakistan and China in various sectors and the economic future of the former depends on close trade and industrial relations with the latter. He stressed the need for taking China as a role model for development of Pakistan and issued instructions for converting the Punjab-China Bureau into Pak-China Company for economic cooperation between Punjab and China.

He was talking at a briefing regarding the Punjab-China Bureau here on Tuesday.

Mr Shahbaz said foreign investment was vital to rapid development of the province and improvement of economic condition of the masses, therefore, the Punjab government was encouraging foreign investors. He said the experience and expertise of China should be availed for improving different sectors and utilising natural resources. He said steps were being taken to give a practical shape to the agreements signed during his visit to China.

The chief minister said China was making progress in every sector due to commitment and determination of its people but unfortunately despite a lapse of 62 years, Pakistan could not been be developed in the real sense and delay in the execution of development projects had become a common practice causing loss of billions of rupees. He said the delay in the implementation of uplift projects should be eliminated for development of the country and provision of better facilities to the masses. He said there was a need to set up a department comprising experts in different fields who could do away with the traditional bureaucratic the red tape and provide facilities and guidance to foreign investment.

Mr Shahbaz issued instructions for setting up a special committee headed by the Punjab chief secretary.

Provincial Secretaries informed the meeting about the details regarding implementation of the agreements between Punjab and China in different sectors. They informed that a nine-member Chinese delegation would visit the province soon for collaboration in the livestock sector while negotiations were being held with Chinese companies for cooperation in solid waste management and irrigation sectors.

The chief secretary, the planning and development chairman, the investment board deputy chairman, secretaries of finance, housing, irrigation and livestock departments as well as the LDA director general were present. The briefing was given by Zafaruddin Mehmood

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the government is paying special attention to infrastructure development and a number of projects are being completed. He said Chinese companies could extend cooperation in the implementation of the Ring Road, Gulberg Parking Plaza, Rawalpindi expressways and various other projects.

He was addressing a meeting held to review the Ring Road project here on Tuesday. Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif specially participated in the meeting. The representative of a leading construction company of China, Xinjiang Beixien XJBX, gave a briefing regarding construction projects executed by the company.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said improvement in infrastructure was important for rapid development of the province and promotion of economic activities. He said the provincial government had adopted an effective strategy for the purpose and huge funds were being spent on infrastructure. He said the Xinjiang Beixien XJBX had completed a ring road project in China within only 10 months whereas the Ring Road Project was pending for the last 10 years. He said the Punjab government wanted to complete the Ring Road and other projects speedily for the benefit of people and the Chinese company could extend assistance in this regard. He said Punjab and the Chinese company could launch the project as a joint venture.

Mr Shahbaz said the Ring Road was an excellent project but unfortunately it was still incomplete. However, he said, the government was now taking solid measures for its early completion. He asked the representative of the Chinese company to extend assistance for the project and directed the Communication and Works secretary to provide details to the company regarding the Ring Road.

Source: The News