LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Wednesday said that promotion of investment was the need of the hour for rapid development of the country and elimination of poverty and unemployment. A comprehensive programme is being implemented for this purpose, he said while addressing a meeting of Board of Directors of Punjab Board of Investment and Trade presided over by him as its chairman at Chief Ministers Secretariat here. Members Board of Directors, Chairman Planning and Development, Additional Chief Secretary and Secretaries of Agriculture, Livestock and Finance departments were also present. He said that a vibrant and active Board of Investment and Trade comprising government representatives and experts in various sectors has been set up which is not only encouraging foreign investment but is also ensuring provision of necessary facilities under one roof. He said that Punjab is rich in natural resources which could be exploited for attaining self-reliance as well as development and prosperity of the province. He said that huge foreign exchange can be earned through export of livestock and agri products to Middle East and other countries. He said that negotiations are being held with foreign investors for the development of these sectors as well as setting up of a Halal Meat Processing Plant by using modern technology in dairy sector. Appreciating performance of the Board of Investment and Trade, the Chief Minister stressed the need for promoting public-private partnership. He said that transparency is the most important element of all projects of investment and this culture is being promoted throughout the province to ensure utilization of every penny of public money for the welfare of the masses. He directed that a roadmap should be evolved for achieving the objective of investment of one billion US dollars in Greenfield project. Earlier, Vice Chairman Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, Pir Saad Ahsanuddin gave a detailed briefing regarding investment and promotion of public-private partnership in the province. He said that special attention is being paid to food processing, corporate farming, dairy development, solid waste management and energy sectors. Members of the Board also gave their proposals for the promotion of investment in the province.