PM Shehbaz in China pledges full support, security for investors

Published June 6, 2024
PM Shehbaz Sharif poses in a group photo with Huawei chairman Liang Hua and the Pakistani delegation in Shenzhen on June 5. — PID
PM Shehbaz Sharif poses in a group photo with Huawei chairman Liang Hua and the Pakistani delegation in Shenzhen on June 5. — PID

• Asks compatriot businessmen to collaborate with Chinese counterparts
• Seeks bigger role for Huawei in country’s Safe City projects, involvement in taxation and e-governance sectors

ISLAMABAD: Empha­sising the need for business-to-business cooperation between Pakistan and China, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday assured Chinese investors and their investment-oriented projects of all-out facilitation and foolproof security in Pakistan.

Addressing the Pakistan-China Business Forum in Shenzhen on the second day of his China visit, the PM highlighted bilateral trade and investment potential, especially in key sectors including transfer of Chinese technology, industry and partnership in IT, agriculture, mining, steel, textiles and renewable energy.

He repeatedly lauded the Chinese model of development and economic transformation and vowed to replicate the same in Pakistan.

“I will go back to Pakistan with this resolve, come what may, we will follow this model of great economic transformation in Pakistan. This model is enough to copy and simulate if we are sincere to our purpose and people. By God, I can tell you this is difficult but not impossible,” he told the gathering of hundreds of business leaders from Pakistan and China.

He also urged Pakistani businessmen to sit with their Chinese counterparts and find ways to move Chinese textile industries to Pakistan and make joint collaborations in steel and other industries.

He told the forum that Pakistan had mineral deposits of around $10 trillion, while the country’s exports stood at $30 billion. The mineral deposits offer huge potential to convert them into finished and semi-finished goods for exports, he said.

The PM also assured the Chinese side that his government had already started structural changes to rein in corruption.

PM Shehbaz drew a comparison between the $500 billion GDP of the 13 million-strong city of Shenzhen and the $380 billion GDP of Pakistan, with its 250 million people, and called the Chinese city’s swift transformation a “miracle of this century”, which others could learn from.

Referring to a terror attack on Chinese workers in Besham in the recent past, the prime minister conveyed his condolences, saying that the government had taken various measures to ensure foolproof security to protect the lives of Chinese workers in Pakistan.

“I will spare no effort to protect the lives of Chinese workers and assure and guarantee that we will provide them security more than our children. This will never happen again,” he added.

Earlier, PM Shehbaz was greeted at Beijing airport by Chinese Vice For­e­ign Minister Sun Weidong and offici­als of Pakistan’s embassy in Beijing.

The prime minister has an extensive programme in Beijing and will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang and chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

He will also attend a Pakistan-China Friendship and Business event and have meetings with the CEOs of leading Chinese companies working on CPEC projects.

 SHENZHEN: PM Shehbaz Sharif witnesses the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Information Technology and Huawei, on Wednesday.—PPI
SHENZHEN: PM Shehbaz Sharif witnesses the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Information Technology and Huawei, on Wednesday.—PPI

A number of MoUs between the two countries on cooperation in various fields are likely to be signed.

On Wednesday, the prime minister also visited the Nanshan One-Stop Service Centre and the Shenzhen Exhibition Museum.

Visit to Huawei

Also on Wednesday, PM Shehbaz visited the headquarter of Chinese telecommunications and technology giant, Huawei, and invited the company to invest in Pakistan’s taxation and e-governance sectors besides enhancing its presence in the various Safe City projects operational across the country.

He also invited the Huawei chairman to invest in the introduction of modern technology in the agriculture sector and also invited the Huawei chairman to visit Pakistan.

Later, the prime minister also attended the signing ceremony of a framework agreement between Huawei and Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology under which the company would impart free of charge training to around 200,000 youngsters in information technology including artificial intelligence.

Besides, the company would also extend its support to Pakistan in the establishment of Safe Cities, e-governance and digitisation of the economy.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2024

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