LAHORE - A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Punjab government and China’s Shandong Ruyi Group for investment of $2 billion in the textile sector and establishment of a textile industrial zone near the motorway. The agreement was signed by Punjab Investment Board Vice-Chairman Maratab Ali and Shandong Ruyi Group Chairman Yafu Qui on Friday, and witnessed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab ministers Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Muhammad Shafiq, and senior officials of the Chinese firm. Under the agreement, the Chinese company will invest $2 billion in the textile sector and set up a garments industry in Punjab. It would also invest in the garments industrial zone being established near the motorway.Talking to newsmen at the signing ceremony, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the agreement would not only bring new job opportunities in the textile sector but exports of the country would also increase considerably. He said the Chinese group, under a joint venture with the Masood Textiles, wanted to invest $2 billion in Punjab. The chief minister said vast opportunities of investment existed in the textile sector and garments industry in Punjab, and trade of billion dollars was being made in both the sectors. He said Pakistan had still to do a lot in the garments and textile sectors; therefore, the Punjab government had decided to establish a garments industrial zone near motorway keeping in view the future requirements. He further said a board had been constituted and people associated with the private sector had been included in this board. Shahbaz said 1500-acre land would be acquired for the garments industrial zone and the project would be completed within a year and three months. He said work would soon be started. He expressed pleasure that the Chinese group had showed willingness to make investment in the garments industrial zone. The chief minister said besides Chinese companies, firms from European, Turkish and Middle East would also be invited to invest in the garments industrial zone. He however made it clear that only serious investors would be given land for setting up industry in the garments industrial zone, as after getting the status of GSP Plus, Pakistan had got duty-free access to European markets. Replying to questions of journalists, Shahbaz Sharif said planning was being made to provide uninterrupted electricity to the garments industrial zone. He said initially a plant of 25MW would be set up while under long term planning, provision of uninterrupted electricity to the industries would also be ensured. The chief minister, to another question, said loadshedding would certainly be overcome and the foundation stone of power plants to be run through coal and solar would be laid in a few months. Shahbaz said in PML-N government, some projects would be completed within two and a half years while some in four to five years that would help overcome power loadshedding. To another question, Shahbaz disclosed that more than 90 percent applications had been received, as compared to the land allocated for the garments industrial zone due to which the success of this project could be fully judged.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 11-Jan-2014 here.