LAHORE: The provincial government and Chinese cement company Yantai Baoqiao Jinhong signed a memorandum of understanding in Model Town on Tuesday to set up a cement plant in the Salt Range.
Under the agreement, the Chinese company will set up the cement plant with an investment of $350 million. Minerals Secretary Arshad Mahmood and Li Baolu, chairman of Yantai Baoqiao Jinhong, signed the document.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the guest of honour at the ceremony, said the cement plant would bring in Chinese investment and create jobs.
He said the provincial government welcomed Chinese investment in the cement industry. Foreign investors have been given the best possible facilities and the government has extended maximum cooperation to Yantai Baoqiao Jinhong in setting up the cement plant, he said.
Sharif said the cement plant would bring in new technology.
“China has invested billions of dollars in Pakistan in energy, infrastructure, industry and other sectors…this era of economic cooperation began after the Chinese president visited Pakistan.” He said China was a great friend to Pakistan and had helped it in its hour of need. Li Baolu said his company hoped to set up a state-of-the-art environment-friendly cement plant in the Punjab.
Other members of the Chinese company said Pakistan was a second home to them. They condemned the suicide blast in Attock.
On the National Action Plan
While addressing a meeting to review law and order in the province, Sharif said on Tuesday that the National Action Plan was being implemented effectively in the province. “Law enforcement agencies should spare no efforts in eradicating terrorism and their facilitators.”
Participants in the meeting were directed to accelerate the operation against terrorists under the National Action Plan.
The chief minister said that the National Action Plan reflected the nation’s determination to root out terrorism. He said there was need for unity and courage to rid the country of terrorism. Activities of banned organisations will be curbed, Sharif said. “We will make sure that terrorists and their facilitators have no place to hide.”
He said that relevant institutions must maintain close coordination with regard to intelligence sharing and the ban on misuse of loudspeaker should be strictly enforced. He also directed officials to take strict action in cases of wall-chalking and dissemination of hate material.
Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah, Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal, the inspector general police and the home secretary attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2015.