LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday addressed the Punjab-Qingdao Business Seminar in Qingdao, an important trade and industrial city of China.

Vice Mayor Qingdao Sun Lijie, in his address, warmly welcomed the chief minister and thanked the Punjab government for providing a very conducive atmosphere to Chinese investors. “This shows Chief Minister’s interest in increasing Chinese investment in Punjab,” he added.

Lijie further said that visit of Shehbaz Sharif will greatly help promote cooperation between Shandong province and Punjab.

The CM while addressing Punjab-Qingdao Business Seminar announced provision of free-of-cost land in Punjab to Chinese investors. He said that the provincial government highly values Chinese investors. He also assured that Chinese industrialists will be provided best facilities in the programme of shifting of industries with technology to Pakistan.

A large number of industrialists, investors, businessmen and senior officials of government departments attended the seminar.

From Pakistani side, Planning and Development Chairman Jehanzeb Khan and Industries Secretary Khalid Sherdil gave briefings to the participants of the seminar on the facilities being provided by Punjab government to Chinese investors and industrialists.

Meanwhile, CM Shehbaz told a delegation of investors and industrialists in Qingdao that a new era of friendship has ushered between the two countries due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. “This cooperation will leave a positive impact on the entire region,” he hoped.

The CPEC will also play an important role in eliminating terrorism, extremism and poverty from the region, and Chinese investment will generate a large number of job opportunities for the Pakistani people, the CM added.

Shehbaz Sharif also visited leading industrial organizations - Haier and Hisense - in Qingdao and inspected various sections there. He was also given a detailed briefing on the production capacity and items produced by these industries.

Talking to senior officials of industrial units, the CM said that allocation of resources by Chinese industrial organisations for public welfare is commendable and he was pleased to know that Chinese industrialists are providing resources for low-income groups of people. Lauding the spirit of Chinese industrialists, he said that provision of resources to the deprived segments is praiseworthy and Pakistani industrialists and investors should also come forward in this regard as service to others is the real purpose of creation of man.

The CM further expressed the hope that Pakistani industrialists and investors will play their due role in serving the humanity.

The CM also met with Li Qun, Secretary Communist Party of China, Qingdao. During the meeting, agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed between Punjab and Qingdao. A joint working group will also be set up to explore possibilities of promotion of cooperation between Punjab and Qingdao in different sectors.

The MoUs were also signed between Punjab Investment Board, Industries Department Punjab and Qingdao. Investors of Punjab and Qingdao also signed agreements under which cooperation will be promoted in the setting up of economic zones, textile sector, transport, industrial estates, infrastructure, e-commerce, technical and vocational training and other sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Shehbaz said that the progress made by China is a result of sagacity of Communist Party of China, ability of leadership and hard work of people and it is worth emulating for developing countries of the world. He also paid tributes to the role of Communist Party of China and party leaders in furthering CPEC projects in Pakistan.

A total of 45 agreements and MoUs have so far been signed during the visit of CM Shehbaz Sharif; out of which 20 are agreements and 25 are MoUs.