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PM Shehbaz, Li discuss CPEC, investor safety

PM Shehbaz, Li discuss CPEC, investor safety

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday assured his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang of timely completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and safe environment for investors.

“Pakistan would provide a completely secure and conducive business environment for Chinese investors,” Mr Shehbaz said during a long telephonic conversation with Mr Li.

Separately, PM Shehbaz issued directives for the implementation of solarisation project, expressed optimism for achieving the IT export target of $15 billion in three years and reviewed ties with UK, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

In his conversation with the Chinese prime minister, Mr Sharif emphasised Pakistan’s unswerving focus on timely progress of the CPEC project.

PM stresses need for energy conservation, hopes IT export target will be met

“The two leaders’ discussion was characterised by warmth and cordiality, in keeping with the best traditions of the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership,” it said.

PM Sharif reiterated Pakistan’s unstinting support on China’s core interests.

Premier Li assured PM Shehbaz that China viewed Pakistan not only as a strategic friend but as a country whose stability and economic welfare was of utmost importance to the region and to China.

He added that China would always stand in solidarity with Pakistan.

Mr Shehbaz conveyed Pakistan’s profound gratitude for China’s support for the flood-affected people and talked about the International Con­ference on Climate Resilient Pakistan being held in Geneva on Jan 9.

Mr Li assured Mr Sharif of China’s continued support for Pakistan’s reconstruction efforts and the success of the conference.

Energy Saving

During a meeting on the implementation of solarisation project, PM Sharif said that initially solar panels of 1,000 megawatts would be installed on federal government’s buildings. He said the process of bidding would be started next week.

The meeting was told that consultation with industries related to the manufacturing of solar panels had been completed. Officials said local industry has been taken into confidence to formulate a comprehensive policy to increase the production of electric motorcycles.

The participants agreed to a suggestion that by the end of the year all motorcycle-producing units would be switched to making electric bikes.

The meeting was also told that for conserving gas, all new geysers would come with conical baffles and by the end of the current year, installation of baffles on present geysers would be ensured.

It was told that production of high energy-consuming filament and low quality old electric bulbs would not be allowed after the sale of the present stock.

The industries which are manufacturing high energy-consuming fans would be transferred to the new technology.

Ties with UK

In a separate meeting, the PM said that the Pakistan-UK relations were rooted in history, shared legacy and strong people-to-people bonds, which had gone from strength to strength.

“Trajectory of the bilateral relations between our two countries showed the immense potential for growth for the benefit of the two countries,” he said in the meeting with outgoing British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner.

The premier appreciated the ambassador’s role in bringing English cricket team to Pakistan after 17 years to play exciting cricket. He was also all praise for Mr Turner’s remarkable role in the revival of commercial flight operations of British Airways in Pakistan.

In a tweet, PM Shehbaz lauded the Information Technology (IT) sector and hoped that Pakistan could achieve its IT export target of over $15bn in three years.

Development of IT sector can place economy on solid footings, he said, adding that for this to happen, IT industry needs to be supported.

“Today I have constituted a committee of industry leaders to resolve hurdles. Target of increasing IT exports to $15 billion in 3 years is very much achievable,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2023

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