‘Pak-China relations turned into useful economic ties’

* Shahbaz says education reforms yielding ‘highly encouraging results’

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that friendly relations between Pakistan and China have turned into useful economic ties because of solid policies of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said that these excellent policies had restored the confidence of foreign investors and that several Chinese companies were working in energy, transport, infrastructure and other sectors in the country.
According to a handout, the chief minister was talking to a delegation of the Chinese construction company, Xinjiang Beixin Roads and Bridge Group, led by its Vice President Shi Dexiang on Monday. Communication and Works Minister Tanveer Aslam Malik, secretaries of the communication and works and housing departments, and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general were also present.
Chief Minister Shahbaz said that all-out facilities were being provided to foreign investors as a result of which a number of infrastructure projects had been initiated in the province. He said that underpasses and flyovers were being constructed in big cities in order to provide modern travelling infrastructure to citizens. 
The Chinese delegation expressed interest in carrying out investment in infrastructure projects in Punjab. 
Dexiang said that his group was ready to cooperate with the Punjab government in infrastructure sector. He said that working style of Chief Minister Shahbaz was unique and impressive.
The chief minister welcomed the interest shown by the Chinese company in carrying out investment in the infrastructure sector. 
Meanwhile, the delegation of a renowned group of Malaysia also called on Chief Minister Shahbaz and showed interest in investment in energy, housing and infrastructure sectors. 
Housing Minister Tanvir Aslam Malik, Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan, LDA director general, additional chief secretary, secretaries of energy, housing, and transport departments and other officials were also present.
Talking to the delegation, the chief minister said that economic situation was improving because of solid policies of the PML-N government and that a conducive environment had been provided to foreign investors. 
He welcomed the interest shown by the Malaysian group for carrying out investment in infrastructure, energy and housing sectors. The chairman of the Malaysian group said that his organisation was also willing to promote cooperation with the Punjab government in different other sectors. Separately, Shahbaz said that literacy was essential for realising the dream of progress and prosperity and the Punjab government had adopted a concrete policy to promote literacy throughout the province. 
He also said that comprehensive reforms introduced and implemented in the education sector like laptop distribution scheme, internship programme, educational endowment fund, voucher scheme of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) and other such schemes were yielding highly encouraging results.
According to a handout, the chief minister was talking to renowned singer and Zindgi Trust founder Shehzad Roy, who called on him on Monday to apprise him of the efforts of the trust in promoting literacy. 
The chief minister said that provision of educational facilities to the poorest children was the top priority of the Punjab government. He said that Daanish schools had been established to provide free yet quality education to the poorest of the poor children in far-flung areas of the province. 
The chief minister said that establishment of the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund was a revolutionary step of the provincial government to help the poor yet talented students continue their studies. 
Besides Punjab, he said, brilliant students of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and other provinces were also being given stipends under the fund and this initiative was strengthening national solidarity. 
He said that thousands of poor children were benefiting from the voucher scheme of the PEF. He said that the Punjab government had laid the foundation of an educational revolution. 
Shehzad Roy informed the chief minister about efforts of the trust in providing educational facilities to helpless and hapless children. Chief Minister Shahbaz praised the efforts of the trust.

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