LAHORE: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has assured investment in energy, infrastructure and textile sectors, besides constructing a big industrial city in Punjab.
ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing gave the assurance to Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in a high-level meeting in Beijing, while Chairman Planning & Development and senior officers were also present, says a hand-out issued here Tuesday.
As a result of this decision, foreign investment of billions of dollars would be made in Punjab in the next few years.
Besides providing capital for development projects in Punjab, the chinese officials said that ICBC would also help the provincial government in acquiring investment from other international sources and private companies.
On this occasion, Shahbaz said the decision of investment by the Chinese bank would greatly help in achieving targets set in energy and other sectors. He also welcomed opening of ICBC 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 pertaining to standards, timeline and minimizing cost of development projects. During a meeting, chief minister welcomed new Chinese investment companies, which announced investment in energy and infrastructure sectors in Punjab, and said that mutual cooperation between China and Pakistan was increasing speedily.
Addressing a Pakistani delegation visiting Beijing for participating in the meeting of Joint Economic Council, the chief minister said that history had provided a golden opportunity to Pakistan to progress with the cooperation of China and it was collective responsibility to take full benefit in this regard. China had resources, skill and technology and was ready to extend all-out help to Pakistan, he said and added that honesty, commitment and hard work were necessary for availing this opportunity.
Talking to media in Beijing, Shahbaz Sharif said that he come to China with a mission to change destiny of Pakistan and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had given a new dimension and depth to Pak-China relations.
He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would always be remembered as builder of Pak-China relationship.
Despite negative impact of sit-ins, he said, all-out efforts were being made to complete ongoing projects with Chinese cooperation within minimum time. He said, people of Pakistan were waiting for visit of the Chinese President.
He also held separate meetings with Chinese investors, 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 showed keen interest.
Talking to a delegation of Chinese investors, he said that besides ongoing projects, work was also being carried out on new projects with Chinese cooperation, adding that Pak-China agreements were based on transparency, hardwork and mutual trust.
Work was in progress speedily on a coal-based power project in Sahiwal with Chinese investment, he said and asserted, there were also prospects of generation of power through wind energy in Punjab.
In a meeting with CNTAC senior officials, he asked the council to invest in Apparel Park near Motorway in Sheikhupura and assured full protection to their capital, adding that Punjab government planned to set up separate textile and garment zones in the Apparel Park.
Pakistan had skilled manpower in this sector and cooperation in Apparel Park project, Pakistan would benefit from Chinese expertise and technology.
With the grant of GSP-Plus status by European Union, he said, Pakistan could export its textile products to the Europe, he mentioned.
The CNTAC expressed keen interest in the project.
Talking to a delegation of China Association of Development Zone, the chief minister said, Punjab had vast opportunities of investment in energy, infrastructure, agriculture, livestock, education, health and other sectors and facilities were being extended to foreign investors on priority basis.
Earlier, on his arrival at Beijing Airport, the chief minister was given a warm welcome. Shahbaz Sharif along with his delegation comprising Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and senior officers of differen ministries, would attend 4th meeting of Joint Economic Cooperation Council.