Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Monday Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit had laid the foundation for a bright economic future of Pakistan.
He was speaking to delegations of companies associated with energy, infrastructure, transport and mining.
Sharif said work would be carried out round the clock on the projects to be executed with the collaboration of China. He said Xi’s speech had given courage and hope to Pakistanis. He said the coming years would be an era of economic development and prosperity for Pakistan.
The chief minister said the Chinese president’s visit had given a new dimension to the relationship between the two countries. “The visit is a historic event for the people of Pakistan. The day will always be remembered in the country’s history.” He said Xi’s visit would prove a game-changer for Pakistan’s economics.
Sharif and a delegation, led by the chairman of a Chinese power company, agreed to cooperate for generating hydro electricity. The chief minister said China was investing billions of dollars in energy sector in Pakistan. He said some people had tried to mislead the nation by saying that China was extending loans to Pakistan and not investing in the country.
The chief minister and a delegation of China Railways and Norenco International discussed the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project.
Sharif said the project would prove a starting point to provide modern transport facilities to citizens. “The project will provide a speedy, comfortable and affordable travelling facility to citizens,” he said.
“The Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project is a gift from China.” He said thousands of jobs would be created as a result of several agreements signed with Chinese firms. He said the economic package from China would put Pakistan on the road to progress.
“I will personally monitor these projects. We will make sure that the schemes are completed speedily and in a transparent manner. No negligence will be tolerated in this regard,” Shairf said.
A delegation, led by the China Machinery Engineering Cooperation chairman, also called on the chief minister and agreed to cooperate in energy and mining.
Sharif said China had offered its cooperation at a time when Pakistan was facing the worst energy crisis. He said Chinese leaders understood problems that Pakistan faced. He said China had numerous opportunities of investment in other countries but it had chosen Pakistan for the purpose. Pakistan could never forget the exemplary cooperation of China, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2015.
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