(Staff Report) :-
China will support Punjab, Pakistan for rapid industrialization, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday afternoon.
Zhao Shiren, Chinese Consul General in Lahore during his visit to Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) held discussions on different areas for increasing mutual cooperation between the two sides.
During the interaction, the two sides resolved to enhance the collaboration for rapid industrialization in the province, especially for encouraging B2B level engagement of Chinese investors and businesses with their local counterparts from Punjab.
The Consul General deeply appreciated the efforts of the former and current Secretary Industries for promoting the relocation of labour intensive industries from China to Punjab by leveraging a strong network of Special Economic Zones across the province both in the public and private sectors.
Jalal Hassan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PBIT, who is also the Secretary of Punjab Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Authority, apprised the participants about effective facilitation by PBIT for promoting private sector led growth model which entails the recent grant of three new SEZs licenses to private sector developers in Punjab, two of which are a result of direct investment and cooperation by Chinese business enterprises.
Secretary Industries Punjab Sohail Ashraf emphasized that Punjab must develop its capacity to train a strong pool of skilled labor force as per modern industrial demands for local as well as international markets.
A strong consensus was also developed between the two sides to further strengthen the technical education and vocational training canvas of Punjab by benefiting from the Chinese experience, especially to uplift the on-going partnership between Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Punjab and Tianjin consortium of technical universities for Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT) in Lahore.
The Chinese Consul General assured of complete support for reinvigorating the PTUT project and other steps to encourage Chinese investors to relocate to Punjab and form Joint Ventures (JV) based partnership with local investors. Other areas of mutual collaboration including visa facilitation for Pakistan businesspersons, also came under discussion.
The Consul General was received by Secretary Industries Punjab, Sohail Ashraf, Chairman PBIT Fazeel Asif Jah, Chairman SEZs Authority Punjab, S M Naveed and CEO PBIT, Jalal Hassan.
Both sides deliberated upon a multifaceted strategy to enhance the collaboration between Punjab and China for rapid industrialization in the province, especially for encouraging B2B level engagement of Chinese investors and businesses with their local counterparts.