BOAO: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday urged his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan, especially in energy and infrastructure.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2014, held a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the BFA. Both the leaders also discussed bilateral, regional and global issues. Congratulating Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese leadership on the successful holding of the 14th BFA, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif highlighted that the Boao event was a demonstration of China’s willingness to assist and guide the developing countries in their pursuit of harmonious growth and shared prosperity.
Describing Pakistan’s friendship with China as an exemplary inter-state relationship, the prime minister stressed that Pakistan attaches the highest priority to its relations with China. Reviewing the whole range of bilateral relations, the two leaders focused on enhancing connectivity between China and Pakistan and agreed that expanding economic and trade cooperation, promoting economic integration, fostering economic development of the two countries would not only benefit China and Pakistan but also transform the whole region.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang appreciated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s participation in the Boao Forum and reiterated the high priority attached by China to its relationship with Pakistan. He expressed the commitment towards deepening strategic cooperative partnership with Pakistan. Premier Li Keqiang thanked Pakistan for its consistent and strong support on issues relating to China’s core interests, including the fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism. He said that China would continue to strongly support Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
He acknowledged sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in fighting terrorism and extremism and assured China’s full support against these menaces. The Chinese premier, terming the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a common vision of the leadership of the two countries, expressed satisfaction on the progress made in the corridor project. He hoped that the corridor would soon start to take practical shape and yield tangible benefits, within the time-frame agreed upon between the two countries. In this regard, he urged the relevant authorities to continue their efforts to achieve concrete results.
The two leaders reiterated the resolve to translate the high level of mutual trust and cooperation in political sphere of their bilateral relations into practical project-oriented cooperation for shared prosperity of the two countries. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi.
Chief Minister Shahbaz has said that the basic purpose of foreign visits of leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is to find ways and means to overcome the energy crisis and to develop infrastructure, transport and education sectors with the help of friendly countries. Talking to the press in Boao on the second day of his visit to China, Chief Minister Shahbaz said that it was for the first time that the federal as well as Punjab government have signed agreements of mutual cooperation with China.
According to a handout, the chief minister said that a historic agreement had been signed with a Chinese company at the beginning of this month to carry out exploration of iron ore reserves near the city of Chiniot. He said that the agreement had paved the way for establishing first coal-powered steel mills in the country. It would also result in creation of over 100,000 jobs, he added. He said that initial results about quality of iron ore were highly encouraging and the standard of iron ore was not less than that of iron ore found in Brazil, Russia and India.
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