Nawaz terms $40bn Chinese investment a milestone in bilateral ties

Published November 12, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talks to the media upon his arrival in London on a two-day official visit on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. – APP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talks to the media upon his arrival in London on a two-day official visit on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. – APP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being received at Heathrow Airport in London upon his arrival on two-day official visit to UK on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. – APP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being received at Heathrow Airport in London upon his arrival on two-day official visit to UK on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. – APP

LONDON: Terming the pledged over $40 billion Chinese investment as a “milestone” in the history of Pak-China relations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said it would help address the years old energy crisis in Pakistan.

Speaking to media representatives upon arrival from Berlin, he also set aside the impression that the investment from China was a loan, saying, “It is not a loan, but Chinese investment, which would benefit Pakistan a lot and further strengthen Pak-China ties”.

He was appreciative of the Chinese government for their decision to make such a huge investment to help Pakistan meet its energy requirements. Prime Minister Sharif was confident that owing to his government's serious efforts, the years old energy crisis would be resolved during the current tenure of PML-N government.

Referring to PTI Chairman Imran Khan led anti-government protests, Sharif regretted that some elements did not want to see these issues resolved by his government. “But these elements would be left behind and the country would move forward,” he remarked.

The prime minister termed his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as positive and hoped that German companies would also make investment in Pakistan's energy sector.

To a question about the impact of sit-ins on Pakistan's economy, Nawaz Sharif agreed that the sit-ins did affect the investors’ confidence, adding that the scheduled visits of the leaders from China, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Maldives were also postponed.

Prime Minister Sharif, in response to a question, said the operation against terrorists was currently ongoing in Pakistan. However, he added that if there was economic progress and prosperity in the country, it would also help address other issues including terrorism.

Regarding the PTI's demand of including the country's intelligence agencies in the probe of alleged election rigging, the premier said politicians should not make such demands and the issue should be resolved within the given criteria.

To another question, Nawaz Sharif mentioned the appreciation of rupee against dollar as well as the record upward trend in the country's stock market as positive economic indicators.

“If the energy crisis is resolved with the availability of electricity and gas to consumers and factories and industries run smoothly, it is the only path of development, prosperity and the elimination of poverty. All other paths are misleading,” he remarked.

Earlier, upon arrival the prime minister was received by representative of British Government, Nicholas Jarrold and Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK, Syed Ibne Abbas along with the officials of the High Commission.

During the visit, Prime Minister Sharif will inaugurate the Pakistan-UK Energy Dialogue / Investment Conference to be held on Thursday (November 13) in London, which will focus on assisting Pakistan in seeking investment in addressing its energy needs through sharing expertise and best practices.

In addition, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will also call on the prime minister to discuss bilateral relations.

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