LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif who arrived in China on Wednesday on a two-day visit to explore possibilities of setting up solar energy plants in Pakistan, visited solar plant at Hami, 600km away from Urumqi without taking rest after arriving at Urumqi, provincial metropolis of Xinjiang province of  China.  Presently this plant is generating 1000mw electricity.

Chinese officials assured the Chief Minister of their whole-hearted cooperation for providing solar energy to Pakistan as he inspected various sections of the solar park for three hours and obtained latest information about solar energy.

Vice Governor of Xinjiang, Kuraish Mehsut hosted a banquet in the honour of Chief Minister Punjab. Chinese Federal and Provincial senior officials, representatives of ruling party and important traders of China attended the banquet.

On arrival,  Shahbaz Sharif was warmly greeted by the high officials of the Foreign Affairs Office of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Ambassador Masood Khalid and a large number of traders and entrepreneurs.

Soon after arrival, the Chief Minister met with  Li Jian Hua, the Chief Executive Officer of TBEA Group and later left for inspecting solar energy power plants in Xinjiang and its adjoining areas.

While talking to his hosts, the Chief Minister said that addressing the energy crisis was one of the top priorities of the present government and in this respect he had a lot of expectations from this visit.

He appreciated China’s keen interest and cooperation in addressing energy crisis and infrastructure development of the country.  He pointed out that PML-N govt  led by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was committed to addressing energy shortfall thus returning brightness in the country. He said that meeting the energy shortfall will galvanise economic activity, unleash an era of economic prosperity and brighten the country’s future.

Shahbaz Sharif said: “When our factories and Mills will start getting power supply, they will function with full capacity, thus provide job opportunities to the common man”.

The Chief Minister appreciated the warm welcome accorded to him on his arrival and said it illustrated the warmth both sides have in our relationship.

Vice Governor Xinjiang province,  Mai He Su Ti Kurexi hosted a banquet in honour of the Chief Minister and his entourage. Later, while talking to media, Shahbaz Sharif said that the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China had proved a harbinger of a new chapter in the history of Pak-China relations and increased the prospects of cooperation in various sectors including energy between the two countries.  Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said that he is ready to visit any country to rid the nation of darkness due to loadshedding.

He said that besides China, Pakistan was also making efforts to have cooperation of other countries including Germany and Britain in energy sector.

Addressing the participants of the banquet, Chinese Vice Governor said that every Chinese was proud of Pak-China friendship. Kuraish Mehsut said that he is deeply impressed with the speed and working style of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.  He expressed his belief that Pakistan will not face energy crisis for a long time in the presence of leaders like Shahbaz Sharif.

Speaking on the occasion, Shahbaz expressed the hope that Pakistan will succeed in overcoming energy crisis by replicating Chinese model. He said that the assurance of cooperation by Chinese leadership had highly encouraged his government.

Earlier, on his arrival at Urumqi on a two-day visit, the Chief Minister was accorded warm welcome by the senior officials of Chinese Foreign Ministry and office-bearers of traders organisations.