Pakistan gives ‘great’ importance to ties with Australia: CM

LAHORE: Pakistani High Commissioner-designate to Australia Naila Chohan called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday. 
According to a handout, matters of mutual interest and promotion of Pakistan-Australia relations were discussed in the meeting. 
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Shahbaz said that Pakistan gives “great” importance to its relations with Australia and that there was a need to further promote trade cooperation between the two countries. 
He said that Punjab Province was a big market of livestock and halal food and that Australian investors could invest in the halal food industry. The chief minister said that national economy could be strengthened on a sound footing through promotion of livestock and agriculture. He said that livestock and agriculture sectors were of vital importance and that promoting both of these sectors could help government reduce unemployment and poverty. 
Chief Minister Shahbaz said that the Punjab government had evolved an effective strategy for the promotion of these sectors in the province and that solid measures have been taken for the welfare of agricultural and livestock farmers as well as for the development of both of these sector. 
He said that loans were being provided to livestock farmers on soft terms and that Australia could enhance its cooperation in livestock and agriculture sectors. 
The chief minister said that a very conducive atmosphere has been created for investment in Punjab Province and that special incentives were being provided to investors to invest in various sectors. 
He said that the Punjab Investment Board was playing very important role for promotion of investment and resolution of problems of investors. 
He urged the high commissioner-designate to play her role in motivating Australian companies to invest in halal food industry in Punjab Province. 
Ambassador Naila said that she would play her role for enhancing image of the country in Australia and also for improving trade relations between both of the countries. Secretaries of the Livestock and Agriculture Departments were also present during the meeting. 
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz has expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives in a road accident near Bahawalpur. Sympathising with the bereaved families, the chief minister also directed officials concerned to provide best treatment to the injured. He also prayed for the early recovery of the injured. 
Also, Chief Minister Shahbaz has taken notice of a report that a former police official and resident of Jhang District has put his children for sale. The chief minister sought a report from the inspector general of police and also directed him to provide justice to the former official.

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