Sep 10 - 16, 2007

Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan Zorica McCarthy has said the relations between Australia and Pakistan were based on sound foundations and thousands of Pakistanis were availing of facilities of higher education in Australia. She stated this during a meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi during his visit to Lahore on Thursday.

Talking to the Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said that the pace of local and foreign investment has accelerated in the province because of the government's economic polices while new industrial estates have been set up where state-of-the-art infrastructure has been provided. He said strengthening of the private sector is an important element of the policy of the government, therefore, administrative affairs of new industrial estates have been handed over to the experts in private sector.

The Chief Minister said that economic and trade relations between Australia and Pakistan in livestock, agriculture, industries and other sectors have strengthened. He said the people of Pakistan are progressive and peace loving and promoting the process of social development in a positive manner.

'The economic policies of present government are aimed at encouraging the foreign investors and protection of their capital due to which the trend of investment by international financial institutions is growing in the province', he added. He said that increasing investment in Punjab has resulted in generation of job opportunities and poverty alleviation.

He said a software information technology park is being established in Lahore which will generate job opportunities at a large scale for computer science graduates, software developers, network engineers and others associated with IT industry. He added that facilities of international standard are being provided in the Software Park. He said that business process centers, tele-medicines and call centers are also being established in the IT Park which will strengthen contacts at international level, generate economic activities to the tune of billions of rupees annually as well as accelerate the pace of local and foreign investment.

He said that IT and P&D experts from Punjab have arranged seminars in Europe and other countries for promoting awareness about the software information Technology Park. He said that foreign investors expressed their keen interest in project of software Technology Park in these seminars. He said that a satellite hub has been established in public sector, first time in the history of the province, due to which a system of provision of information about different sectors has been established.

Mr. Pervaiz Elahi further said that economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Australia are growing with the passage of time. He said that hundreds and thousands of overseas Pakistanis are performing their professional responsibilities in different sectors of social development in foreign countries. He said that Pakistan strongly believes in international peace and is supplementing the efforts of world community for curbing terrorism and extremism.