Karachi     -   Xue Qingguo, Vice-Mayor of the Chinese city of Qingdao, met with the Sindh Governor Imran Ismail here at the Governor’s House on Monday.

Matters pertaining to trade and investment were discussed at the meeting.

On the occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and Vice Mayor Xue Qingguo to work on enhancing cooperation in trade, science and technology, culture, sports, tourism and other fields.

Those who were present on the occasion included Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Gilani, Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, PTI Parliamentary Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh and others.

Talking to the media after the meeting, the governor said the signing of the MoU between Qingdao and Karachi was a welcome step. “Signing of this MoU will not only benefit Karachi, but the entire province and the country,” he expressed optimism.

He said Chinese companies were shifting to other countries in the region due to rising production costs in their country. “Pakistan must take advantage of this opportunity and invite the Chinese companies to invest in the country,” Ismail said.

He further said that Qingdao had a special status in China’s economy. “Cooperation with the city would greatly benefit Pakistan’s economic hub Karachi,” he hoped.

Responding to a question, the governor said that Karachi’s issues could be resolved only by empowering the city mayor.

To another question about taxes, the governor made it clear that the present government did not impose any new tax.

 “The government is only ensuring proper collection of already imposed taxes,” he said, and added, “Expanding the tax net is need of the hour.”

Replying to a question about economy, the governor said that Pakistan was among the emerging economies of the world. “Due to the effective economic policies of the present government, Pakistan will soon become a new economic force,” he claimed.

Speaking on the occasion, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar said that the Pak-China friendship would become stronger after signing of the agreement.

The mayor added that China had set an example of rapid development around the world. “We need to take full advantage of China’s advanced technology,” he asserted.