LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the Chinese officials have agreed to expedite work on electricity and infrastructure projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

A high level delegation of working group led by special representative of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Liu Guangyan met the chief minister yesterday and discussed the matters of mutual interests.

It was also decided to ensure speedy implementation of CPEC projects. Ambassador Liu Guangyan, on the occasion, also conveyed a special message of Chinese premiere and foreign minister to Shahbaz Sharif.

The CM said work has been carried out speedily on the projects under CPEC in Punjab and other cities of Pakistan as he was personally monitors progress on the same. “A conducive and safe atmosphere has been provided to Chinese investors and Punjab government has taken special measures in this regard,” he told the Chinese.

Shahbaz Sharif said that CPEC projects were a milestone in the stability of economy and provision of job opportunities to the masses. “The CPEC projects are a game changer in eliminating the shortage of electricity,” he added.

On terrorism, the Punjab chief minister said that war against terror was for the survival of Pakistan and the whole nation was determined to root out this menace.

“Thousands of Pakistanis including civilians and Pak-Army and police personnel have rendered unprecedented sacrifices in this war against terrorism,” the CM said and added the goal of progress and prosperity of the country could not be realised without defeating terrorism.

Liu Guangyan appreciated the steps taken in Punjab for providing safe and conducive atmosphere to Chinese investors. He assured that the work on CPEC projects would be carried out jointly and would complete with high quality and speed.

The ambassador told Shahbaz that the Chinese prime minister acknowledged the CM’s untiring efforts and extraordinary abilities and “calls him a man of action”.

Korean Ambassador Song Jong-hwan and Austrian Ambassador Dr Brigitta Blaha separately called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif yesterday. They shared views on the matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation in energy, infrastructure, transport and other sectors.

The Korean envoy offered to extend all out assistance and cooperation in energy sector and it was agreed in the meeting to promote economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Korea. Shahbaz Sharif welcomed the Korean offer and hoped that economic and trade ties between the two countries would further strengthen in future.

He laid stress on the exchange of mutual delegations for strengthening trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Korea. He said that there were vast opportunities of investment in energy sector in Pakistan and Korean companies could benefit from them.

Song Jong-hwan said that Korea was ready to extend all out help to Pakistan in setting up energy projects and wanted to strengthen its economic and trade relations with Pakistan.

Talking to Austrian Ambassador, the CM said that there were strong friendly relations between Pakistan and Austria; however, there is a need for effective measures for the promotion of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.