Thursday June 13, 2024

PM Shehbaz for boosting cooperation with China in IT, agriculture sectors

PM invites Chinese firms to establish plants in Pakistan, reassures fool proof security to Chinese citizens

By Web Desk
May 28, 2024
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs a review meeting regarding cooperation with China in Islamabad on May 28, 2024. — Radio Pakistan
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs a review meeting regarding cooperation with China in Islamabad on May 28, 2024. — Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday expressed Pakistan's willingness to boost bilateral cooperation in agriculture, information technology (IT) and energy sectors with China.

Chairing a high-level review meeting regarding increasing cooperation between the two nations in various fields, the premier termed China as an important partner in country's development and stressed on increasing exports of local products to Beijing.

Inviting Chinese firms, especially from the textile sector, to establish plants in Pakistan, PM Shehbaz also reassured that the government will provide all possible facilities to Chinese industrialists and investors.

Speaking at the huddle, also attended by Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and other senior officials, the prime minister said that the government is ardently preparing for the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

"Gwadar port will be made a logistics hub with Chinese cooperation [...] the establishment of Agriculture Demonstration Zones will be an important project in the next phase of CPEC," he said.

Underscoring that China can help Pakistan in setting up a strategy for increasing its exports, the PM also directed relevant ministries to prepare new projects aimed at enhancing Pakistan-China cooperation as well as undertake measures to promote business to business ties.

The review meeting comes as PM Shehbaz is set to undertake his maiden visit to China in the second week of June in response to President Xi Jinping's invitation.

Comprehensive security plan for Chinese nationals

On the issue of safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan, PM Shehbaz said that foolproof security will be provided to Chinese nationals and that a comprehensive security plan has already been chalked up in this regard.

The prime minister's remarks come after Beijing, on Monday, reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with Pakistani authorities to strengthen security cooperation and ensure the safety and security of Chinese personnel.

Speaking at a press conference Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said that Beijing will continue supporting Islamabad in the investigation of the Dasu attack to hunt down and punish the perpetrators of the terrorist attack.

The spokesperson's comment came after Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi held a joint press conference with National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Necta) officials on the issue of Dasu suicide attack which saw at least six people, including five Chinese nationals, being killed after a suicide bomber rammed into their vehicle in Bisham.

During the presser, the minister called on Afghanistan to hand over the militants involved in the deadly attack.

"[Pakistan has formally] requested the interim government in Afghanistan to arrest the leadership of [banned] TTP," he said.

Meanwhile, Necta head Tahir Rai revealed that said that the explosive-laden vehicle that had hit the bus carrying the Chinese nationals reached Pakistan via Afghanistan.

The official revealed that 11 suspects have been arrested in this case so far.

Owing to the fatal attack, the federal cabinet has approved the Economic Coordination Committee's (ECC) decision regarding the disbursement of $2.58 million as part of the compensation package for the families of the Chinese nationals killed in the Dasu attack.