HANGZHOU (APP) - Pakistan and China on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for construction of Bunji dam in northern areas of Pakistan.
The accord was signed between Pakistans Ministry of Water and Power and China Three Gorges Project Corporation.
Chairman Board of Investment Saleem Mandviwala and Li Yangan, signed the MoU for their respective sides.
Zardari, Pakistans ambassador in China Masood Khan and senior Chinese officials witnessed the signing ceremony.
Masood said Bunji dam, one of the eighth hydel projects shortlisted for construction in the four provinces by WAPDA, would have a capacity of generating 7,000 MW of electricity. He said it was part of Chinas commitment to help Pakistan overcome its power crisis.
Prior to the signing of MoU, Li Yangan called on Zardari, and the two discussed Pakistan China cooperation in hydel power generation. Zardari recalled his last visit to China in February when he also went to see the Three Gorges Dam project, and said that Pakistan has lot of potential for construction of hydel power projects on its rivers for which it needed their assistance and expertise. He hoped that with the Chinese cooperation, Pakistan would soon be able to overcome its energy crisis.
Meanwhile, President Zardari Saturday said China is worlds next superpower for trade and investment and a place for the world to learn a lesson.
Addressing a forum on Pakistan Zhejiang Trade and Investment Opportunities: Current Cooperation and Future Prospects, the President said China is also a great opportunity to learn and enhance ones knowledge.
Chinese progress is becoming a lesson for the world to look at. It is the futures superpower in terms of investment and trade, Zardari said.
The forum was organized by Pakistan embassy and Department of Commerce Zhejiang Province.
Representatives of Zhejiangs 16 top business houses, whose combined annual turnover runs into billions of dollars, attended the forum. Some of them also made presentation to the President about their companies and said they were keen to invest in Pakistan. They said they highly regard Pakistan and its people and would contribute towards the development of that country.
Zardari said the Chinese have indigenously developed their own parameters of progress, from which not only Pakistan would like to learn, but it is something for the whole world to learn from.
He recalled that a solid foundation of Pak-China relationship was laid by late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he was the foreign minister.
Our friendship is higher than Himalayas and deeper than oceans, he added.
The President while mentioning that his son was warmly received during the Beijing Olympics said: Future generations of the two countries should cherish the bonds of friendship that Pakistan and China enjoy.
He said he was fulfilling his promise of visiting China after every three months and every time when he comes to China, he visits a new province.
Every time I come I visit a new Chinese province, I learn. I want to educate myself and enhance my knowledge and capability, the President remarked.
He said it was his dream that Pakistan should become a gateway for Chinese exports to world markets as his countrys ports were nearer than Chinas own waterfronts. He said from some of Chinese cities, it takes over three weeks for the export material to reach the nearest port. Pakistan can be a transit to all trade to and from China. Your strength is our strength and our strength is your strength.
About the ongoing projects that Chinese engineers and experts are carrying out in Pakistan, Zardari said he personally monitors their progress by holding regular meetings with Chinese ambassador in Islamabad.
Earlier, Pakistan 's ambassador to China Masood Khan in his remarks said Zhejiangs high GDP and per capita income makes it one of the critical engines of growth of modern China.
He said Presidents visit to the province will give a fresh impetus to Pakistan-Zhejiang relations in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, businesses, infrastructure development, light industry and textiles.
Meanwhile, President Zardari sought Chinese assistance in hydel, thermal and solar power generation to overcome Pakistans power crisis and invited Chinese companies to carry out feasibility study in the country. After a presentation on small and medium sized dams, water conservation and irrigation by Zhejiang Design Institute of Water Conservancy and Hydroelectric Power, the President said Pakistan is peculiarly energy deficient country.
We need solar power for individual housing units and I want the Chinese to carry out study in Pakistan, the President remarked after the presentation.
Zardari said Pakistan was ready to provide Chinese companies all the assistance they need to set up power units that are not only cheap but also feasible for housing as well as commercial units.
Earlier, Li Yueming, president of the institute, said they had also carried out studies of couple of medium sized dams in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and constructed over 100 such dams around the world especially in Africa, South America and Turkey.
He said the projects initiated by his institute are cost effective and environment friendly.
China never seizes to surprise me, Zardari remarked after the presentation.
Later, Chairman Wapda Shakeel Durrani said Chinese companies are already working on a number of hydel projects in Pakistan including Neelum Jhelum, Gomal Zam and Mangla raising.
He said the institute would be invited to bid for construction of 12 small dams in Pakistan that are ready for construction.
In a meeting with Zardari, President Zhejiang Zhengtai Solar Energy Science and Technology Company Yang Liyou said his company was ready to carry out solar power generation in Pakistan as it has plenty of sunlight available throughout the year.
Zardari said he would like the company to come to Pakistan and start small and medium sized solar power generating units, as they are not only cheap but also less costly to maintain.
He said Pakistan offers great investment opportunities and the companies from China would be given every facility to set up their projects.
Later, Yang Liyou said his company specializes in small solar power units for homes and industries and bigger generating units which are upto 20 megawatts.
He said his company has already set up solar power units in far off Chinese villages where they cater to the needs of small farming communities.
We use state-of-the-art technology and our units have minimal maintenance cost. We would be glad to help Pakistan to overcome their power shortage by setting up solar power projects there, he said.
Pakistan, he added, has plenty of sun available throughout the year and these solar units are best suited to the environment.
He said his company was also ready to collaborate with Pakistan both in public and private sectors.
In his meeting with President Zhejiang Academy of Agriculture Sciences Chen Jianping, Zardari said to provide grain to a burgeoning population in his country, there is a need for better agri-practices that not only give high yield but also uses less irrigation water.
Zardari said Pakistan that has very fertile soil, could exploit its potential in a better way if it uses hybrid varieties of seeds. He said China has progressed tremendously in the field of agriculture and Pakistan would like to benefit fully from its experience. After the meeting, Jianping said the academy would collaborate with Pakistani agricultural institutes and scientists to guide them to better agriculture practices.
He said the institute was over 100 years old and is the main centre in China for research in agri sciences.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and China on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to manufacture vaccines to cure Hepatitis B and C.
From Pakistani side, Dr Rasheed Juma Director General Health while from the Chinese side representative of China Investment Promotion Agency signed the MoU. President Asif Ali Zardari, Secretary Communist Party of China Committee of Zhejiang province Zhao Hongzhu and Governor Zhejiang, Lu Zushan witnessed the signing ceremony.
The MoU envisages strengthening of cooperation in regulation of vaccines on pharma-co-vigilance, and regulation of clinical trials of innovative drugs.
The two countries will also exchange information related to therapeutic drugs, latest trends and techniques, respective laws and regulations and list of registered manufacturers and wholesalers. The other MoU signed on the occasion related to investment promotion cooperation between China Investment Promotion Agency and Pakistans Ministry of Commerce and Board of Investment.