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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday that deepening China-Pakistan economic cooperation is very important for the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan.

The premier expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Chinese state-owned company, NORINCO that called on him and showed interest in investing in renewable energy and other areas.

The prime minister also highlighted the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a transformational project for the mutual benefit and development of both the friendly countries and invited the Chinese companies to invest in the huge potential of renewable energy, particularly, solar power in Pakistan. The NORINCO delegation showed keen interest in investing in the wide spectrum of renewable energy projects in Pakistan, especially in the wind corridor in Thatha whereby, a 100MW wind power project was proposed.

Investment in fiber optic along the railway lines, copper and iron ore mining at proven reserves, and infrastructure development in the big cities of the country were among the key investment opportunities highlighted by the company as potential venues for investment. Shehbaz Sharif stated that Pakistan is open to investment and that his government is taking steps to remove all impediments to further facilitation of the investors. He also thanked the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang for their consistent and unwavering support to Pakistan, particularly in the current economic situation in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister’s Office said that the premier acknowledged the company’s role in the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project and recalled that it was for the first time that open bidding took place in a government-to-government (G2G) project i.e. Lahore Orange Line.

Pakistan invites Chinese firms to invest in renewable energy sector

He stated that further negotiations were held with the lowest bidder, leading to a saving of US$ 600 million, adding that it was certainly a milestone in the development history of Pakistan.

The Chinese delegation was led by vice-president NORINCO International, Wang Xiaobing and CEO NORINCO International (Pakistan), Li Chen while from Pakistan’s side Federal Ministers Khawaja SaadRafique, Syed Naveed Qamar, ChauhdarySalik Hussain, Advisor to Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, Special Assistants to Prime Minister (SAPMs) Syed Tariq Fatemi, Mohammad Jahanzeb Khan, ZafarudDin Mahmood and officials from concerned ministries have also attended the meeting.

Earlier, during a brief talk on state-owned TV channel along with Yang Jiechi, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of its Foreign Affairs Commission, Shehbaz said that Pakistan was obliged to China for the support it provided and he still remembers Yang’s visit to Pakistan in 2015 along with President XI as an important member of his delegation signed agreements for the start of CPEC.

He said that his vision and foresight have always supported Pakistan’s cause on bringing the two countries together. Sharif thanked him for his outstanding role and contribution to bring the two countries together thought out his career. He said that his vision has also helped Pakistan in direction which led Pakistan to achieve CPEC as well as investment and trade.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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