LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that as a result of granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by European Union, Pakistani products will now have duty-free access to European markets and there will be a substantial increase in the national exports especially textile and garments.

Presiding over a meeting regarding promotion of textile sector and the project of setting up Punjab Apparel Park, here on Thursday, he said keeping in view this fact, Punjab government was taking a number of steps for the promotion of textile industry and a modern park was being set up where state-of-the-art facilities would be provided.

Provincial Minister for Industry Ch Muhammad Shafiq, Adviser Dr Ijaz Nabi, Member Provincial Assembly Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman Planning & Development, Chairman Investment Board, Members Board of Management of Punjab Apparel Park and concerned officers were present.

The chief minister also gave approval to changing the name of Punjab Apparel Park to Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park Punjab.  The chief minister said work would be carried out day and night on Punjab Apparel Park for its early completion. He said full benefit would be taken from the facilities provided by European Union for increasing textile exports as well as generation of job opportunities.

Referring to his recent visit to China, Shahbaz said Chinese government and leadership had expressed willingness to make a huge investment of $ 32 billion in energy and other sectors in Pakistan. He said every effort would be made to get full benefit of the investment package of $32 billion and infrastructure, energy, transport and other projects would be started. He said Shandong Ruyi Group of China had expressed willingness to cooperate in the project of setting up Apparel Park and promotion of textile sector, besides provision of technical cooperation and investment of $119 million in the Apparel Park.

Meanwhile, the chief minister advised the members of the delegation from Punjab going to visit Industrial Parks in various cities of China to observe punctuality and ensure their participation in the meeting at the fixed time at all costs.

Issuing directions to reduce the seven-day visiting schedule to five days, the chief minister said that every moment of the delegation was precious, so they should work round the clock doing work, work and work only. He asked the delegation to work tirelessly for the achievement of the objective of their visit to China. Separately, Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Asim Suleman called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday. Professional activities about Pakistan Air Force and other matters came under discussion in the meeting.