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PM Shehbaz Arrives in China’s Tech Hub with Ambitious Plans

PM Shehbaz Arrives in China's Tech Hub with Ambitious Plans

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in Shenzhen on Tuesday, kicking off a five-day visit to China. This is his first visit to China following the Feb 8 elections and is expected to include the inauguration of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and several agreements between the two nations.

In Shenzhen, a hub for innovation and technology, the prime minister met with Meng Fanli, party secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee, and Deputy Party Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee. He also engaged with leading Chinese companies in high-tech sectors.

Upon his arrival, the prime minister expressed his admiration for the city’s development on X, saying, “Impressed by the city’s skyline and development that symbolises modern day China.” He looked forward to his engagements with local authorities, the business community, and industry leaders before heading to Beijing for official talks with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, and other Chinese leaders.

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Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the Pakistan-China Business Conference, aiming to enhance collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese business communities. The Pakistani delegation included prominent business figures and ministers such as Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, and others.

Before his departure, the prime minister expressed hope that his visit would elevate the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China. He stated that discussions would cover cooperation in various sectors including agriculture, IT, infrastructure, youth skill training, vocational training, industrialization, Special Economic Zones, Gwadar Port expansion, mining, and minerals.

In an interview with Chinese media, the prime minister highlighted Pakistan’s serious plans to promote enterprise interaction, utilize Special Economic Zones, and enhance manufacturing output. He invited Chinese companies to build SEZs and enter joint ventures with Pakistani firms. He also encouraged the Chinese textile sector to set up units in Pakistan and invited Huawei to launch short IT and AI courses for Pakistani youth.

Additionally, the prime minister expressed a desire to learn from Chinese agricultural technology to boost Pakistan’s agricultural produce and exports.