LAHORE (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan and Germany should further promote trade and economic relations.
He expressed these remarks during a meeting with a large delegation of investors and heads of different German companies working in Pakistan led by State Secretary of Germany Federal Foreign Office Stephan Steinlein here.
Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif said that time had come to strengthen economic ties between the two countries, and setting up of the office of Pakistan-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & industry would further boost these relations.
He said that Pakistan was facing challenges of terrorism and energy crisis, however, the government was determined to resolve these issues. He said that political and military leadership as well as Pakistani nation were united to root out menace of terrorism . He said that due to supreme sacrifices of Pak Army , law enforcement agencies and police, the incidents of terrorism had substantially reduced.
The CM said that the war against terrorism would be taken to its logical end and no effort would be spared in this regard.
Shehbaz Sharif said that besides use of force, provision of education, health, jobs as well as skill development was essential for defeating terrorism and extremism, therefore, the government was taking comprehensive measures for the uplift of social sector.
He said that work was in progress on Safe City Project for the protection of life and property of citizens and this project would play an important role in ensuring safety of people.
He said that Safe City Project would be extended to all big cities. Similarly, he said, billions of rupees were being spent for the provision of basic amenities to the masses. He said that huge funds had been allocated for provision of potable water to the masses.
Shehbaz Sharif said that special attention was being paid to development of education sector and new classrooms were being constructed at a cost of billions of rupees.
He said, a special scholarship was being given to girl students of backward districts. He said the government was not only utilizing its own resources for resolving energy crisis but energy projects under CPEC were also being completed expeditiously.
He said that a new example of transparency and standard had been set in the gas based power projects of 3600 megawatts and these projects were being implemented by federal and Punjab governments jointly.
The Chief Minister said that acknowledgement of transparency in projects by German companies working in Pakistan was an honour not only for Punjab government but for the whole country. He said that solar, wind, hydel and coal power projects were being set up under CPEC and would result in availability of thousands of megawatts electricity. He said the CPEC would help in eliminating terrorism and extremism as it would create job opportunities as well as strengthen economic and industrial sectors.
He said that cooperation of Germany in skill development, technical training and educational sectors would be welcomed. He said that increase in volume of trade between Pakistan and Germany was need of the hour and joint efforts were needed in this regard.
The State Secretary of Germany Federal Foreign Office and heads of German companies openly acknowledged the transparency in development projects in Punjab under the leadership of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and appreciated his policies in this regard.
German Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Ina Lepel was also present on the occasion.
The State Secretary while talking to the Chief Minister said that he was pleased over the acknowledgement of transparency by the heads of German companies with regard to the projects in the province. He said that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was an active and dynamic person while his team was also determined and hardworking.
He assured the Chief Minister that Germany would extend all out cooperation in resolving energy crisis in the country.
He said that senior officials of 17 big companies of Germany were accompanying him and full cooperation would be extended towards energy projects in Pakistan especially Punjab. He said that situation in Pakistan was much better and there was a favourable atmosphere for investment.
Senior Vice President of a German company Siemens and other officials appreciated Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for ensuring transparency in development projects in Punjab.
They said that though their company had not been able to get contract for gas power projects but the way bidding process and other matters were handled transparently was unprecedented and credit for this went to Shehbaz Sharif.
German investors said the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had promoted transparency in projects.
They further said that due to transparent policies of present government of Pakistan Muslim League-N, German companies were taking keen interest in investment in Pakistan especially Punjab.
Consultant of German companies working in Pakistan also lauded transparency in solar power projects and said that an excellent environment had been provided for investment in Pakistan especially Punjab.
Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique, Saira Iftikhar MPA, Chairman Punjab Power Development Company, Vice President Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry and secretaries of concerned departments were present on the occasion.