LAHORE: Punjab will have huge investments from China’s Shandong province in the fields of energy, textiles, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, information technology, construction, etc.

“Punjab and Shandong can become strong partners for prosperity and uplift of Punjab as our bilateral relations at the government to government level have been exemplary. It is high time that we created conditions for our businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors to increase their level of engagement,” said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif while addressing a Punjab-Shandong business seminar organised by the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade at a local hotel on Thursday.

He said 1,320MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant worth $1.8 billion was being completed under CPEC by Shandong company.

Pinpointing journalists covering the event, Mr Shahbaz said the Orange line metro train would save them from travelling on obsolete buses and motorcycle rickshaws.

Shandong Vice-Governor Xia Geng said: “The Pak-China relationship has exceeded beyond economic ties. We have deep-rooted cultural ties.”

He said his province would extend every possible investment support to Punjab, adding today’s seminar would remain instrumental towards strengthening the Punjab-Shandong business relationship.

Later, Mr Shahbaz and Mr Geng signed agreements of establishing friendly province relationship and special economic zones in collaboration with China all over Punjab.

Six memoranda of agreement were also signed at the event. Shandong Yongtai Paper Mill Co Ltd & Roshan Packages (Pvt) Ltd signed an MoU to set up one paper mill in Punjab.

Another MoU was signed between Jinan Sinox International Co Ltd & Reshma Power Generation (Pvt) Ltd to provide heavy fuel oil treatment and emulsification technology services for better environment.

Shandong Provincial Enterprises signed an MoU with Foreign Investment & WOW Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd for establishing investment promotion service cooperation.

At the end, PBIT facilitated business to business and government to business sessions after the seminar to discuss various joint venture possibilities.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2016