Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meet at in Beijing on July 5, 2013. Sharif is in China on a five-day official visit. — Photo by Reuters
BEIJING/SHANGHAI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday held meetings with delegations of China’s top business executives and discussed with them energy, development and infrastructure projects in Pakistan.
The prime minister met the delegations on board a high speed train while traveling from Beijing to Shanghai, where he visited the Pakistan-China Energy Forum attended by over 50 prominent Chinese investors.
The Pakistani premier is on a five-day visit to China, his first foreign visit since coming to power in the May 11 general elections.
During his meetings, Sharif put special emphasis on his government’s desire to utilise coal to generate low-priced electricity in Pakistan.
Jin Chunsheng, Vice President China Machinery Engineering Corporation said his company was capable of manufacturing coal turbines having the capacity to generate up to 1000 megawatts, greater than common coal turbines which generate a maximum of 500MWof electricity.
Chunsheng said his company was currently working on a power project in Jamshoro. Sharif also met the Executive President of China’s Gezhouba Company, Yang Yisheng.
Yisheng assured the Pakistan premier that work on the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, the construction of which Gezhouba is involved in, would be completed by 2016.
He said work on project’s $200 million transmission line is yet to begin however his company has already submitted its bid for the purpose.
He also expressed the desire to take part in the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam and that his company would strive to seek financial support from the Chinese monetary institutions.
He also expressed interest in executing further power, infrastructure and high speed train projects in Pakistan. The prime minister invited Gezhouba company’s head to visit Pakistan with proposals of interest for further discussion on those projects.
Later addressing the Pakistan-China Energy Forum in Shanghai, Sharif said his government’s top priority was to resolve issues related to energy and that they would welcome all Chinese and foreign investment.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the Chinese investment in energy sector would take the lead.