LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Shandong vice-governor Ji Xiang Qi jointly presided over Punjab-Shandong Business Conference in Jinan yesterday.

The conference was largely attended by prominent Chinese and Pakistani businessmen and entrepreneurs taking it a good opportunity to share their views and promote mutual cooperation in different sectors of development.

On this occasion, Chinese businessmen investing in Pakistan, especially Punjab, also shared their experiences and impressions.

The vice-governor of Shandong province, Ji Xiang Qi welcomed the Pakistani delegation and said: “Shandong and Punjab will add a new chapter to development cooperation.”

He further said that the Chinese leadership has given instructions for extending full cooperation to Punjab and all out efforts will be made in this regard.

The CM while addressing the business conference said that investors and industrialists of Pakistan and China have come together at an important juncture of history as work has been started on implementation of splendid investment package of $46 billion by China. He added that the projects being executed under this historic package are not limited to any particular area but are spread all over Pakistan.

“The pace of implementation of agreements under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is unprecedented,” Shehbaz Sharif told the Chinese while adding that half of the work has been completed on 1320 mw coal power plant in Sahiwal which was started in June 2015. “This project will be completed in less than two years,” he further said.

CM Shehbaz travelled in a fast train to reach Jinan, capital of Chinese province Shandong. The train covered hundreds of miles journey only in one and a half hours. During his visit to the province, the Punjab chief minister is being accorded the same protocol which normally is given to a head of the state or the prime minister.

Chinese Minister Zheng Xiaosong also accompanied the CM from Beijing on the train. Special importance is being given by the Chinese leadership to the visit of Shehbaz Sharif to China which reflects its confidence in the leadership of Punjab.

He invited senior officers of Chinese companies working in Pakistan especially Punjab, to the stage and share their experiences with others, frankly and honestly in Chinese language.

Mian Muhammad Mansha, a prominent industrialist and businessman of Pakistan, said that there was a very favourable atmosphere for Chinese investors in Pakistan especially Punjab. He said that Chinese traders can benefit from the GSP Plus status given to Pakistan. “Pakistani investors will join hands with the Chinese,” Mansha added.

Shehbaz Sharif also met chief executives of the consortium of Chinese companies working on Sahiwal Coal Power project in Jinan. During the meeting at Huaneng headquarters, senior officials of Huaneng Shandong and Ruyi Group were present.

The chief executives of the companies credited fast pace of work on Sahiwal Coal Power Plant to the cooperation of Punjab government. They said the project will be completed much before the stipulated period.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif met Communist Party of China Secretary Shandong Province Jiang Yikang in Jinan. Talking to the CM, Yikang said that efforts are being made speedily for transforming Pak-China friendship into solid economic cooperation and Communist Party of China is playing a vital role in this regard. He said that the visit of CM Shehbaz to China will go a long way in stability of friendship between the two countries and timely completion of CPEC projects.

He also announced setting up of a committee comprising senior officials of Shandong province for promoting cooperation between Punjab and Shandong in education, health, energy, infrastructure, transport, culture and other sectors.

In the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif told the Chinese about the vast opportunities of investment in Pakistan especially in Punjab in the sectors of agriculture and livestock. He asked the Chinese investors to come to Pakistan with their machinery and export their products to Europe and other countries, calling it ‘a natural extension of CPEC’.

During a dinner hosted in honour of CM Shehbaz, where Senior Chinese officials, office-bearers of Communist Party, Chinese investors and members of Pakistani delegation were present, a memorandum of understanding was also signed for promotion of cooperation between Punjab and Shandong province.

Vice Governor of Shandong Ji Xiang Qi and Punjab Minister for Industries Ch Muhammad Shafiq signed the MoU under which Shandong and Punjab will work for promotion of cooperation in different sectors.

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also visited Liver Transplant, Beijing Friendship Hospital and inspected medical facilities being provided with regard to liver transplant. He also reviewed treatment facilities available in the hospital for liver diseases.

He said that Punjab government is setting up a state-of-the-art Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute in the provincial metropolis and cooperation of China will be welcomed in its establishment and training of medical staff.

CM urges public awareness against hepatitis

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged the need of preventive measures to tackle the fatal disease of hepatitis.

In his message on World Hepatitis Day, the chief minister said that prevention is better than cure and all out measures should be taken against this disease. “There is a need for promoting public awareness against hepatitis,” he added.

In the statement, he pledged that the Punjab government will provide all out facilities for the treatment of hepatitis patient. A project has been evolved for setting up Pakistan Kidney & Liver Transplant Institute and Research Center in Lahore which will prove to be a milestone in the provision of modern treatment facilities to hepatitis patients, he further said.