LAHORE The first-ever Lahore Shopping Festival 2011 was heralded with a dazzling opening ceremony here at Lahore Polo Club in the presence of hundreds of participants who had flocked here to be part of this historic event. The festivities of the Lahore Shopping Festival were declared open by the Chief Guest MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif. MNA Pervez Malik, MPA Zaeem Qadri, LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sheikh Arshad Vice President Sohail Azhar, former Presidents Bashir A. Baksh, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mohammad Ali Mian, Executive Committee Members, City elite, top bureaucrats and a large number of women attended the opening Ceremony of Lahore Shopping Festival. A stunning polo match was also part of the Lahore Shopping Festival Opening ceremony. Hundreds of pigeons and balloons were also released in the air the mark the opening of the Lahore Shopping Festival that would continue till April 10. The Lahore Shopping Festival is a joint initiative of the Punjab Government and Lahore chamber of Commerce & Industry. This mega event is a combination of events including Husne Qirat Competition, Young Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition, Photography Competition, Vintage Car Rally, World Punjabi Organization Musical Evening, Business Walk, Lahore Wrestling Championship, 1st Expo Punjab, Motor Bike Rally, Fashion Show, Conference on Investment Opportunities in Lahore, Cycle Race, Concert & Cultural Show while at the first phase, a polo match played at Lahore Polo Club on Sunday and Qiraat Competition among finalists of two qualifying rounds is being held today (Monday). Speaking at the opening of the Lahore Shopping Festival, Member NA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said that the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Mohammad Shahbaz Sharifs vision to turn the province into a hub of economic activities would bear fruit soon. He said that all energies are being spent for the welfare of the masses facing deep troubles due to fast escalating prices of daily use items. He reassured the LCCI office-bearers of Punjab govts full support for the success of the Lahore Shopping Festival. He said that Mian Mohammad Shabaz Sharif was having meetings with potential foreign investors to attract investment in the province of Punjab. In their address, the LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik and Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad said that the Lahore Shopping Festival has been designed to promote economic activities in the Province of Punjab. They said that at the three-day first Punjab Expo as many as 175 renowned business groups are showcasing their products. On the sidelines of the exhibition an Investment conference would also be held at Lahore Expo Centre Auditorium where leading economic experts would be highlighting the potential of Punjab. A methodology to overcome the economic challenges being faced by the country would be given to the government. The First Punjab Expo would be Made in Punjab in true sense of the word. In the photography exhibition/competition being held on April 5, as many as 200 photographers are taking part. The photography exhibition is not only highlighting the tourism potential of Lahore but it would also be showing the modern Lahore to the outer world.