LAHORE, Oct 18 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that there were deep-rooted friendly relations between Pakistan and Canada and a large number of Pakistanis were living in different cities of that country.

He expressed these remarks during a meeting with Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Perry Calderwood who met him here.

Matters of mutual interest, Pak-Canada relations and cooperation in different sectors were discussed in the meeting.

Talking to Canadian High Commissioner, the Chief Minister said that Pakistanis living in Canada were ambassadors of Pakistan and playing an important role in strengthening of Pakistan’s economy through sending foreign exchange.

He said that there was a need for solid measures for promotion of trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Canada and implementation of projects in education, health and electricity especially hydro energy.

He said that there should be maximum exchange of trade delegations between Pakistan and Canada.

Shehbaz Sharif said the Punjab government had taken revolutionary measures for the uplift of education, health and transport sectors.

He said that teachers’ training and provision of educational facilities to the new generation was the priority of the government.

He said that lakhs of teachers had been recruited in the province purely on merit.

He said the Punjab government had promoted the culture of merit, transparency and high standard at every level.

He said that facilities of higher education were being made available to more than 1.5 lakh poor but talented students through Punjab Educational Endowment Fund.

He said that lakhs of boys and girls had been enrolled in schools through voucher scheme of Punjab Education Foundation.

He said that provincial government considered provision of resources for empowerment of young generation as useful investment.

He said that Daanish schools had been established in south Punjab for extremely poor children who were being provided free education as well as boarding and lodging facilities.

Shehbaz Sharif said that lakhs of laptops worth billions of rupees had been distributed among talented boy and girl students on merit basis. Similarly, he said, children of labourers working in brick kilns had been enrolled in schools by providing them scholarships.

He said that more than 70,000 children had been given admission in schools and these children had also been provided uniforms, books, bags and other items by the Punjab government.

The Chief Minister said that the cruel system of mortgaging future of  the nation for a petty amount could not be tolerated, therefore, the Punjab government had evolved the programme of elimination of child labour from workshops, petrol pumps and hotels.

He said that there was a need for promotion of trade activities between Canada and Pakistan especially Punjab besides cooperation in different sectors and both the countries should make efforts in this regard.

Shehbaz Sharif said that a highly conducive atmosphere for investment had been created in Punjab and Canadian investors could benefit from investment opportunities in the province.

Canadian High Commissioner said that Punjab was very important province and a partner of Canada. He said that Punjab and Canada should promote trade and economic relations for moving forward.

He said that Canada wanted to promote cooperation with the Punjab government in different sectors.

Honorary Consul of Canada in Lahore Syed Yawar Ali, Chairman Punjab Investment Board, Chief Executive Officer Punjab Investment Board, Secretary Schools Education and concerned officials were present in the meeting.