LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that there is a vast scope of development of garments industry in Punjab and uplift of this sector can help earn huge foreign exchange as well as generate thousands of job opportunities. He said that Punjab government has adopted a comprehensive strategy for development of garments industry in the province and an agreement has been signed with China to set up Punjab China Garments Industrial Zone.

He said that special incentives will be given to local and foreign investors in the garments industrial zone. Issuing instructions for setting up a committee for identifying the site for the establishment of Punjab China Industrial Zone, the Chief Minister directed that the committee should present its report within seven days after consulting all stakeholders so that the project could be initiated without any delay. The committee will comprise Senior Member Board of Revenue, Secretary Industries and representatives of Punjab Industrial Estate Development and Management Company.

He was presiding over a meeting regarding promotion of garments industry here on Thursday. Provincial Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan, Advisers Ijaz Nabi, Azm ul Haq, Provincial Secretaries, President Bank of Punjab, prominent industrialists, office-bearers of Garments Industries Association and concerned officers were present.

The Chief Minister said that setting up of Punjab China Garments Industrial Zone on a large piece of land near Motorway should be considered while other locations for this purpose should also be identified and a report be submitted within seven days. The Chief Minister also issued instructions for constituting a working group to remove hurdles in the establishment of the industrial zone and directed that the working group should immediately formulate its recommendations so that the concerned institutions could be contacted for removing impediments.  He said that working group should meet on weekly basis and propose steps expeditiously in this regard.

The Chief Minister directed the six sub-committees to be formulated for the working group to work with commitment and dedication and present solid and practicable proposals. The  Chief Minister further directed that concerned departments should contact Federal Board of Revenue and take measures for acquiring 24/7 export facility on the pattern of Bangladesh as Pakistan can also increase its garments exports by replicating Bangladesh model.

Prominent industrialists associated with garments sector paid rich tributes to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for the steps taken for the development of garments industry and said that due to the personal interest taken by the Chief Minister not only garments industry would make rapid progress but huge foreign exchange would also be earned. Chairman Planning & Development Iran Elahi gave a detailed briefing regarding the strategy devised for the development of garments industry.