LAHORE: A delegation of British investors led by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called on the Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. During the meeting, the British investors showed their interest in investment in CPEC projects.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that bilateral friendly relations between Pakistan and the UK span over many decades and added that Pakistan gives great importance to this relation.
“A large number of expatriate Pakistanis are settled in London which is playing an important role in enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries. It is the best opportunity to promote relations between the UK and the province of Punjab as further promotion of mutual relations in different sectors is the need of the hour,” he said.
The CM said that Pakistan is a peaceful country which has rendered yeoman services to counter the menace of terrorism and has achieved marvellous successes in the war against terrorism.
He pointed out that this war is the struggle for the survival of Pakistan and therefore, the war against terrorism has to be won at every cost. The time is not far away when the Pakistani nation shall succeed in this war. Along with the use of bullet, this war shall be won through various socio-economic reforms; he added and further said that complete annihilation of the menace of terrorism is the strong commitment of the whole nation.
The CM apprised the delegation that important reforms have been introduced in education, healthcare and skills development sectors in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DID) of the UK.
We appreciate the British cooperation and the Punjab province is willing to further promote this cooperation with London so that people from both sides could be benefitted.
He said that we shall have to move further jointly and that Pakistani economy was debilitated due to the energy crisis in the past.
Shehbaz stressed on the efforts made under the leadership of former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to overcome the energy crisis have been a huge success. The government of PML-N has overcome the energy crisis and China has fully supported Pakistan in this regard.
The federal, as well as the Punjab governments, have set up electricity generation projects of 3600-megawatt electricity with their own resources.
During the last four years, more than 7000-megawatt electricity has been produced which has helped to control the genie of load-shedding. We are proud of our achievements as national resources worth billions of rupees have been saved by ensuring quality and transparency in different energy projects, he added.
The CM observed that CPEC has opened new avenues of foreign investment in Pakistan and the British investors should take full benefit of this golden opportunity by investing in CPEC projects. He also said that British investors will be welcomed wholeheartedly.
He said that a culture of transparency has been promoted by the government in Punjab and stressed on the need for further promoting mutual cooperation with London in the matter of public transport, sanitation and traffic sectors.
Taking to the podium, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that cities of London and Lahore enjoy good relations and expressed the desire to enhance cooperation and investment with Lahore in different sectors.
He thanked the Shehbaz Sharif for his enthusiastic welcome and vowed that collective work will be done to enhance investments.
Different British investors, on the occasion, said that Shehbaz Sharif has taken wonderful steps for the prosperity and a congenial environment is all set for investment.
The chief minister later hosted a luncheon in the honour of Sadiq Khan and his delegation. British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, London Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agarwal along with a large number of British investors and officials were present on the occasion.
Provincial ministers Rana Sanaullah, Mansha Ullah Butt, Nadeem Kamran, Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, and Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Advisor Dr Umer Saif, Turkish Consul General Serder Deniz, US Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy, chief secretary, lord mayor Lahore and Pakistani investors were also present on the occasion.