LAHORE, Mar 18 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad
Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday invited government of Tatarastan
to join 54 billion dollars CPEC investment to boost trade
and economic ties in the region.
The chief minister expressed these views while addressing
the Punjab-Tatarstan Business Forum at a local hotel.
The President of Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov,
attended the forum as the chief guest.
Addressing the business forum, Shehbaz Sharif said:
“We welcome the President of Tatarstan and his delegation to
Pakistan and Lahore from the core of our hearts.The people
of Punjab and Pakistan are happy over your visit. Your tour
will begin the new era of trade and economic relations between
Pakistan and Tatarstan”.
The CM said there were strong opportunities of promoting
bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Tatarstan.
Both the countries could further promote bilateral relations in agriculture, engineering, informational technology, energy,
petrochemical, livestock, tourism and other sectors.
“I invite the investors of Tatarstan to invest in
Pakistan, especially in the Punjab. We will provide them
every opportunity”, the CM said.
The investors of Tatarstan should sit together with
the investors of Pakistan and the Punjab, and develop a
roadmap for promoting bilateral economic relations, he said
and added Punjab had vast opportunities of investment due to
its strong infrastructure.
As a result of 54 billion dollars investment under
the CPEC, trade and economic activities had been boosted in
the region, and it could be helpful in promoting economic
relations with Tatarstan and Russian Federation, he said.
With the help of gigantic project of CPEC, economic and trade
relations of Pakistan could be boosted with the Russian Federation and Tatarstan, he added.
Serious efforts had been made under the leadership of
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to overcome challenges
of terrorism and energy crisis. Insha’Allah, with the completion
of energy projects, the decade-long loadshedding in the country,
would come to an end from the beginning of next year, and there would be light everywhere, he said.
There was strong economic potential in Tatarstan, and
it had good expertise in e-governance, information technology,
agriculture and livestock, he said. “We want to get benefit from your experience, vision and expertise. Your e-governance model is also impressive”, the CM added.
“We will benefit from your expertise in the field of IT.
The use of IT has been promoted in different departments.
The 700 police stations in the Punjab have been inter-connected
through the IT. 50,000 tablets are being given in primary and middle schools; while lakhs of students get laptops every year on merit and performance”, he added.
The federal and the Punjab governments were also setting
up 3600 mega-watt gas power projects from their own sources; and these would be completed in record time, he said and added investment potential was available in tourism sector in Pakistan, especially in the Punjab.
Similarly, there was big potential in livestock sector. The Punjab
government had made most-modern slaughter house, and livestock was also being promoted, he said.
He said that cricket was a popular game in Pakistan, while the game of
football is also liked. Tatarstan and Pakistan could also promote cooperation in sports field, and Tatarstan could extend cooperation for promotion of the game of football.
He said Pakistan was a victim of terrorism and Pakistani
nation had rendered great sacrifices in war against terrorism.
President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov said, in his address, that he was pleased to see the wonderful progress in the Punjab. Punjab is the most developed province of Pakistan and the people are known for their hospitality.
He said that Tatarstan and Pakistan had economic relations
which were needed to be further promoted. He added that cooperation
with the Punjab government, in different fields, would be enhanced to work collectively.
Provincial Finance Minister Ayesha Ghous Pasha presented the address
of welcome and gave a detail of facilities for foreign investors as well as the opportunities of investment in the Punjab.
The head of Tatarstan’s trade agency, Ms. Taliya Minullina spoke about
prospects of cooperation in different fields between Tatarstan and the Punjab Government.
An agreement was signed between Lahore Chamber of Commerce and
Tatarstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. President Lahore Chamber
Abdul Basit and representatives of Tatarstan Chamber signed the agreement. Similarly, MOU was signed for cooperation in IT.
VC Punjab Information Technology University, Dr. Umar Saif and the head of Tatarstan Information University also signed the MOU.
Provincial ministers, parliamentarians of Pakistan and Tatarstan,
investors of both the countries, as well as high officials of the Punjab, were also present.