Punjab Board of Investment and Trade and Honorary Consulate of Russian Federation jointly organized Punjab-Tatarstan Business Forum inLahore to introduce high level Russian delegation with opportunities available in Pakistan in sectors like Industry, Mines and Minerals, Agriculture, Livestock, Food, Tourism, Sports,Skill Development and Petro-Chemicals.
Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Tatarstan President RustamMinnikhanovgraced the event with their presence. The meeting constituted a joint committee to identify different sectors for promoting cooperation between Punjab and the Republic of Tatarstan.
The President of Tatarstan, RustamMinnikhanov said, in his address, that he is delighted to see the magnificent progress in the Punjab. Punjab is the most developed province of Pakistan and the people are known for their generosity.President of Tatarstan expressed his optimistic views regarding his one day visit by saying that Punjab had welcomed him with an open arm and “we will promote regional cooperation on solid grounds.”
He said that Tatarstan and Pakistan have economic relations which are needed to be further promoted. He believed that cooperation with the Punjab Government, in different fields, would be enhanced to work collectively.He said that they eagerly awaitfor Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Tatarstan in June.
Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan, Provincial Ministers Sheikh Alla-ud-Din, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chaudhary Sher Ali, JehangirKhanzada, Naeem Akhtar Bhaba, Advisorto Chief Minister Dr. UmerSaif and senior officials from both countries were present on the occasion.
Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that 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, he added. Your tour would begin the new era of trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Tatarstan.
Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan and Russian Federation have economic relations for the last many decades; and trade is also carried out through barter system between the two countries. Pakistan also has economic relations with Tatarstan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Tatarstan in 1999. There are strong opportunities of promoting bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Tatarstan.
Both the countries can 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 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.
Punjab has vast opportunities of investment due to its strong infrastructure. The investors of Tatarstan should come forward and invest here. As a result of 54 billion dollars investment under the CPEC, trade and economic activities have been boosted in the region, and it can be helpful in promoting economic relations with Tatarstan and Russian Federation. With the help of gigantic project of CPEC, economic and trade relations of Pakistan can be boosted with the Russian Federation and Tatarstan. Serious efforts have been made under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to overcome the challenges of terrorism, fanaticism and energy crisis. Insha'Allah, with the completion of energy projects, the decade-long load shedding in the country, would come to an end from the beginning of next year, and there would be light everywhere.
He said the Punjab is the biggest province of Pakistan with a population over 100 million, and there is tremendous potential of investment in different fields. He said that investment potential is available in tourism sector in Pakistan, especially in the Punjab. Tatarstan is also expert in this field and we can jointly work to promote tourism. Similarly, there is big potential in livestock sector. The Punjab Government has made most-modern slaughter house, and livestock is also being promoted. Meanwhile, steps have been taken for promotion of halal food. He said that cricket is a popular game in Pakistan, while the game of football is also liked. Tatarstan and Pakistan can also promote cooperation in sports field, and Tatarstan can extend cooperation for promotion of the game of football.
Chief Minister said that Islam is a religion of peace. It is incorrect to link terrorism and fanaticism with Islam. We condemn the elements linking terrorism and fanaticism with Islam, as Islam is the religion of peace. Terrorism and fanaticism has no link with Islam; no one is authorized to shed blood of the innocent people. He said that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and Pakistani nation has rendered great sacrifices in war against terrorism. Terrorist has no religion nor has any link with any particular color or caste. Similarly, they have no geographical identity. Islamic teachings promote equality, justice, preferment of religious harmony and provision of equal opportunities for progress. The 'Misaq-e-Madina' is the highest example of it. Steps have been taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the promotion of religious harmony, love and brotherhood, because it is the way forward.
He said that terrorism is an international issue, and we will have to jointly fight it. The people of Pakistan are peaceful citizens. The promotion of inter-faith harmony is need of the hour. We will have to work collectively to eliminate terrorism and fanaticism so that this world could become a peaceful and secure place.
The President of Tatarstan, RustamMinnikhanov said, in his address, that he is 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 have economic relations which are needed to be further promoted. He said 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. TaliyaMinullina spoke about prospects of cooperation in different fields between Tatarstan and the Punjab Government.
An agreement was also signed between Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Tatarstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for cooperation. President Lahore Chamber, Abdul Basit and representative 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 signed the MOU. The document mainly covers the areas of cooperation in information sharing and technology collaboration through technology transfer, investment, bilateral contacts and partnership development between startups and IT companies, encouragement of innovative industries through joint ventures or technology cooperation or training and infrastructure support of the innovative enterprises at early stages of development.
Provincial Ministers, parliamentarians of Pakistan and Tatarstan, investors of both the countries, as well as high officials of the Punjab, were also present on the occasion.