- Punjab CM vows to secure foreign, local investors at every cost
- Lures foreign investment in agriculture, transport, infrastructure, housing, energy, mining and other sectors
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after coming to power in 2013 started rebuilding the country despite all odds, and was working sincerely to strengthen the national economy.
Addressing a two-day international seminar on Business Opportunities in Punjab at a hotel, Sharif remarked that the event would provide a platform for serious interactions between international business community and Pakistani business community.
The CM told the conference that after two and a half years, the indicators of economy had started moving in the right direction. He said that the huge investment of $ 46 billion by China in Pakistan was a great step forward, adding that out of this investment $36 billion would be spent on the energy sector.
Besides power generation projects, Sharif said, the government was sincerely working on other projects as well. He said the day was not far when goals would be achieved and by the grace of Almighty Allah the country would regain its lost position.
Speaking about the security situation, the CM observed that law and order situation was improving in the country. He said that no stone would be left unturned to provide better security to foreign investors. He further said that the government and military leadership were on the same page and the menace of terrorism would be eliminated from the country by the grace of Almighty Allah.
Luring foreign investors, the CM said that foreign investors should invest in Punjab with an open heart, adding that it was their right to earn reasonable profit which they could transfer to their respective countries. He further said that there was a lot of scope for investment in the agriculture, transport, infrastructure, housing, energy, mining and other sectors in Punjab.
The CM said that the participation of such a large number of foreign investors in the seminar reflected the confidence of foreign investors in the economic and investment policies of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government.
Sharif also remarked that a so-called war against communism in Afghanistan in the 80s had badly affected Pakistan and the repercussions were still being faced by the country.
Speaking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, the CM said that power projects were being set up in Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan and Azad Kashmir, adding that industrial estates, infrastructure and installation of transmission lines were also part of the CPEC.
He further said that the federal and Punjab governments were setting up energy projects of 3600 megawatt in Punjab which would be based on gas. He said it was due to CPEC that the East was being linked with the West. He said that with the completion of power projects, thousands megawatt of electricity would be available which would result in development of the agriculture and industrial sector, increase in investment and export, creation of new job opportunities and poverty alleviation.
Sharif, on the occasion, made an appeal to the federal and provincial institutions not to let this golden opportunity go waste but to take full benefit from it.
The CM stressed upon Pakistani investors to move forward, and urged foreign investors to invest in Punjab as the provincial government had introduced the golden principles of transparency, hard work, honesty, speed and standard as well as taken solid measures for protecting their capital.
He said that all steps would be taken in accordance with rules and regulations and the promise of transparency would be fulfilled.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf M Wathra, while referring to economic situation, said that foreign exchange of country had increased more than $20 billion. He said that due to improvement in security situation, economic activities had accelerated. Chinese company Zo Energy President Yu Yang, while addressing the seminar, informed about the investment made by their companies in Punjab.
Al-Bayarak Group of Companies of Turkey Chairman Ahmet Albayrak, said that his group was working with the Punjab government in different sectors. He said that his company had made investment in transport, solid waste management and textile sectors and the investment had increased $100 million while more investment was being made.