LAHORE - Pakistan and China Yesterday signed seven agreements and 17 memoranda of understanding in Beijing, covering industrial and energy sectors.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif witnessed the signing ceremony. Addressing the ceremony, he said these agreements are related to the establishment of the textile industries, industrial estates, imparting training to master trainers in various arts, promotion of trade fairs and exhibitions, energy, infrastructure and practical cooperation in various fields, including water treatment.

Shehbaz Sharif said a historic opportunity had been provided to Pakistani businessmen and industrialists in the form of Chinese investment.

The chief minister further said pace of implementation of development projects in Pakistan under CPEC was unprecedented. He said Chinese President Xi Jinping came to Pakistan in April 2015 and different agreements were signed, after which speedy implementation of these agreements started.

Meanwhile, talking to Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui in Beijing, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would result in the promotion of exports of Pakistan and different countries of the region and creation of thousands of jobs besides curbing the trend of extremism.

He said Pakistan had always supported China on “One-China Policy” and Tibet as well as regional and international issues. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said China had always stood by Pakistan and would continue to help Pakistan achieve progress and prosperity. He said China would extend all-out cooperation to Pakistan in increasing productive capacity of industrial sector.

The chief minister, talking to the representatives of Chinese print and electronic media, news agencies and radio in Pakistan Embassy, said Pak-China love and friendship was based on golden principles of honesty, trust and transparency. He said the people of China and Pakistan should learn each other’s languages as it would bring them closer. He said there was a need for mutual visits of delegations of traders, industrialists besides scientists, artists, students and teachers.

Addressing Pakistani boy and girl students in Pakistan Embassy in Beijing, Shehbaz Sharif said the Punjab government had sent them to China to learn Chinese language. He said Pakistani students were very talented and learning of Chinese language was the need of the hour. He said the Punjab government had sent them to China and it was now their responsibility to work hard to gain command over this language. He said though Chinese is a difficult language, but he was sure that they would learn it through their hard work and commitment. He said these students were ambassadors of their country. He added the Punjab government would send more youth to China to learn Chinese language.

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also met Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun in Beijing. While giving assurance of provision of funds on priority basis for the projects being completed with Chinese cooperation, he said experience of Chinese financial institutions working in Pakistan had been very good and there would be no shortage of resources for the projects in future as well. He said completion of projects with Chinese cooperation would benefit hundreds of millions of Pakistanis.

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also met National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Nuer Baikeli. The pace of progress on the projects under CPEC was discussed in the meeting. The chief minister said the CPEC projects guaranteed progress and prosperity of Pakistan. He said work was being carried out with commitment and speed on these projects. He said CPEC would prove to be a milestone in the progress and prosperity of people of Pakistan.

NDRC Vice Chairman expressed satisfaction over the speed of implementation of projects and said cooperation would continue in this regard in future as well.

A meeting was also held between Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Huaneng, Cao Peixi, the chairman of a prominent Chinese group in the energy sector. Shehbaz Sharif thanked the chairman of Huaneng group for speedy work on Sahiwal Coal Power Plant. Huaneng expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made by the Punjab government and said that his group was ready to work on more mega projects in Punjab.