LAHORE - A 36-member business delegation led by China-Pakistan Friendship Association (CPFA) President and former Under Secretary General of the UN Sha Zukang called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed matters of mutual interest, including promotion of Pakistan-China relations and CPEC-related projects. It was agreed to promote bilateral cooperation under the CPEC further. Speaking on this occasion, the chief minister said that China is the most trustworthy and sincere friend, which has stood by Pakistan in every hour of trial. “It is sanguine that Pakistan-China relations are touching new heights and the friendship is even stronger today. In fact, Pakistan-China friendship is growing stronger day by day,” he said.

Buzdar said that CPEC is a game-changer initiative for Pakistan that has written a new history of economic cooperation between the two countries. “China has become a global economic power due to untiring efforts of its leadership while a solid foundation of development has been laid through CPEC project in Pakistan. Relations between the two countries are further strengthened during PTI’s rule,” he said. He said that Chinese investment will be welcomed and investors will be given every possible facility. He said that a public-private partnership authority has been established to promote private investment in the province and Chinese investors can take benefit of projects launched under the PPP mode.

Sha Zukang, on this occasion, said that CPEC has given new heights to Pakistan-China relations and added that this cooperation is being strengthened with every passing moment. “The CPEC has given new dimensions to Pakistan-China relations while this friendship is a glowing example of mutual cooperation, love, affection and regional peace in the entire world. CPEC is a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative and people are interlinked with each other through the bonds of mutual respect. Pakistan is another home for Chinese people and every possible step will be taken to promote cooperation with Punjab in different sectors,” he said.  Adviser Dr Salman Shah briefed the delegation about the steps being taken for promotion of investment and ease of business in Punjab. Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin, provincial ministers Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, Sardar Muhammad Asif Nakai, Sardar Husnain Bahadur Dreshak, Muhammad Mohsin Leghari, Akhtar Malik, Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial, Adviser Dr Salman Shah and P&D chairman were also present on this occasion.

US AMBASSADOR CALLS ON CM

US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones called on Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at 90-Shahra-e-Quaid-Azam on Tuesday and discussed matters of mutual interest. Speaking on this occasion, the chief minister said that multifaceted Pakistan-US relations span over many decades. He said the government is committed to transforming Pakistan into a welfare state in accordance with the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He emphasized that all citizens, including the religious minorities, enjoy equal rights in Pakistan. “Prime Minister Imran Khan is striving to develop a new Pakistan where everyone has equal access to facilities of life. The Pakistani leadership is looking towards achieving the goals of a new Pakistan. A welfare agenda aimed at public welfare is being implemented by the government,” he said.

Usman Buzdar pointed out that steps have been taken for restoration of historical heritage and added that the Walled City of Lahore Authority has been extended to the entire province.

“Similarly, an effective tourism policy has been devised and work has been started on Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib. The Punjab government is also going to establish nine universities for providing quality higher education to the students. In addition to it, nine new hospitals are being established for giving better healthcare facilities to the people and this would add nine thousand beds. Ten special economic zones will be established in Punjab and the federal government has approved six such SEZs while work is in progress on four other SEZs, he added.