Gilani for deeper economic ties with China
* PM seeks Chinese help in solar power to meet energy needs
* Urges Chinese bank to work on dams in Pakistan
BOAO: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said that Pakistan and China needed to fully translate their deep political ties into stronger economic relations for the mutual good of their people.
He was talking to Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) President Lin Zuoming on the sidelines of the BOAO Economic Forum. Gilani said the Pakistan-China friendship spanned all facets of their ties, from political to economic, that continued to grow stronger with each passing day.
He said that under the second Pak-China five-year programme of cooperation, launched in 2012, 36 projects would be undertaken in the areas of energy, transportation, infrastructure, health, agriculture and education.
He deeply appreciated the ongoing cooperation between the aviation industries of Pakistan and China and mentioned the successful joint production of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft that was being used by the air forces of both the countries.
He said the success of the Pakistani aviation industry was due to the strong support of the Chinese aviation industry. He also invited Lin Zuoming to visit Pakistan. The AVIC president said his company was pleased to extend cooperation to Pakistan's aviation industry and said it would lead to further strengthening of ties between the two countries. He said his company was also keen to extend ties to the private sector in Pakistan, besides offering its cooperation in the field of electronics.
The prime minister also held a meeting with the Suntech Power Holding chairman and chief executive officer to discuss matters related to energy sector. During the meeting, he said Pakistan could benefit from Chinese technological breakthroughs in solar energy, to help it meet its growing energy needs. Gilani said that Pakistan's energy needs were held up due to electricity shortages and all measures were being taken by the government to address these needs.
He also invited the Suntech CEO to visit Pakistan to personally see the potential of solar energy and the needs of the industrial and domestic users. He said Pakistan offered lucrative incentives for foreign investors in all fields.
The prime minister especially asked for provision of solar energy to run tube wells in Balochistan to help meet the irrigation needs of the farming community there.
The Suntech CEO said that solar was the most effective and efficient mode of power generation in the shortest span of time. He said repairs and maintenance were also easy and could be handled by the locals without a long training.
The CEO said China was the world leader in solar technology and the electricity so produced was less expensive than that generated through diesel fuel. He also accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan.
The prime minister also held a meeting with EXIM Bank of China president, urging the bank to cooperate in construction of small and medium dams to help the country meet its agriculture needs.
Talking to the EXIM Bank president, Gilani appreciated the role of the bank in funding different development projects in the country. He particularly noted that the bank was funding projects worth $3.8 billion in different sectors of Pakistan. The prime minister said the EXIM Bank was playing a key role in the economic development of Pakistan. He appreciated its role in the funding of major projects like the expansion of the Karakoram Highway, Gwadar and the Neelum-Jhelum project. The president of the bank said Chinese companies were keen to invest in Pakistan and said all measures would be taken to ensure timely completion of the projects that were vital to Pakistan's economic development.
The prime minister also visited the Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden at the outskirts of Boao and planted a palm sapling. He appreciated the rich diversity of the garden, which was built in 1957 and covers a large area. app