CM Shehbaz, London Mayor agree on increased economic cooperation

LAHORE: A delegation of British investors led by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif here on Wednesday.During the meeting, the British investors showed their interest in investment in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

Talking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that bilateral friendly relations between Pakistan and the UK spans over many decades and added that Pakistan gives great importance to its relations with the UK.  A large number of expatriate Pakistanis were settled in London which were playing an important role in enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries.

It was the best opportunity to promote relations between the UK and the province of Punjab as further promotion of mutual relations in different sectors was need of the hour, he added.  He said that Pakistan was a peaceful country which had rendered great service to counter the menace of terrorism and it had achieved marvelous successes in the war against terrorism.

He pointed out that thousands of Pakistanis sacrificed their lives in this war and the brave armed forces of Pakistan, police and law enforcement agencies had written a new history of bravery.

The Chief Minister apprised the delegation that important reforms have been introduced in education, healthcare and skills development sectors in collaboration with Department for International Development of the “We appreciate the British cooperation and Punjab province is willing to further promote this cooperation with the London so that people from both the sides could be benefitted”, he added.

He said: “We shall have to move further jointly and it was the best time for it”. He said that Pakistani economy was debilitated due to the energy crisis in the past and pointed out that efforts made under the leadership of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to overcome the energy crisis have bore fruit.

The government of Muslim League-N has overcome the energy crisis and China has fully supported Pakistan in this regard, he added.

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 helped to control the 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 Chief Minister said that CPEC had opened new avenues of foreign investment in Pakistan and the British investors should take full benefit of the golden opportunity by investing  in CPEC projects.

Talking on the occasion, Mayor 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 Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his wholehearted welcome and vowed that collective work would be done to enhance investments.

Different British investors, on the occasion, said that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has done wonderful steps for the prosperity and congenial environment has been provided for investment.

The Chief Minister hosted a luncheon in honor of Mayor of London and his delegation. British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal 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, 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.