LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that friendly relations between Pakistan and the United Kingdom are deep-rooted and that the British cooperation in imparting modern training to Punjab police and development of education, health and other sectors is commendable.
He said that skills development programme was running successfully with the cooperation of Department for International Development (DFID) and thousands of youths have been imparted training in different skills.
According to a handout, Chief Minister Shahbaz was talking to a UK delegation led by Waltham Forest Mayor Nadeem Ali during a meeting on Sunday. Punjab Environment Minister Shuja Khanzada was also present during the meeting in which trade relations between Pakistan and the United Kingdom, development projects and matters of mutual interest were discussed.
Shahbaz said that the Punjab government has introduced reforms in order to improve the performance of education, health and social sectors. He said that development of a skilled workforce to meet market needs was a big challenge and the Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive strategy to achieve this purpose. He said that the scope of Punjab Skills Development Programme started in four districts of south Punjab with the collaboration of the DFID had been extended to 18 districts of the province.
The chief minister said that the Punjab government was spending billions of rupees on the provision of speedy, comfortable and economical transport facilities to the people. About 175,000 citizens are benefiting from metro bus service in Lahore on a daily basis, he said and added that work on 10-month Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project had also been initiated.
He said that grant of GSP (Generalised System of Preference) Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union was a big success of the government which would result in creation of new job opportunities in Pakistan besides enhancing its textile exports substantially.
He said that the government would fully benefit from the GSP Plus facility and implement all conventions so that maximum number of Pakistani products could gain access to European markets. He said that increase in garments exports would also help enhance trade volume between Pakistan and European countries.
Paying tribute to public service activities of Chief Minister Shahbaz, Mayor Nadeem Ali said that the province had made unprecedented progress under his leadership and that development brought about in Punjab, especially in the city of Lahore, was surprising. He said that metro bus service was a splendid public-welfare project and that completion of a big project of international standard in a very short period of time was a big achievement besides being a glorious example of utilisation of public funds on the welfare of the masses.
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