Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari today called for Chinese assistance in onshore and offshore drilling for oil and gas as well as for reactivating the depleted and abandoned oil and gas fields in different parts of the country.
The call was made during his meeting with delegation of Chinese oil and gas conglomerate Orient Group Incorporation at Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
The delegation headed by Mr. Zhang Hongwei, Chairman of Orient Group/United Energy Co., included Ms. Fu Christine Yuning, Mr. Andrew Leo Kirbym Mr. Pang Pui Yin Thomas, Mr. Lin Yang and Mr. Gao Guangbin among others. Senator Dr. Asim Hussain, Minister for Petroleum, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General and Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar were also present during the meeting from Pak side besides other senior officials.
The President said that Pakistan was faced with a situation that can be characterized as ‘energy emergency’ and that the Government had decided to channel all resources to meet the challenge.
Briefing media Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that in order to overcome the present energy crisis, the President has been focusing on tapping all available resources including reactivating the abandoned and depleted oil and gas fields in different parts of the country to meet our domestic requirements. In Sindh, alone, reportedly 16 gas fields abandoned by the OGDC as depleted and of no use were identified, he said. Mr. Babar said that the President had already called for reactivation of all such resources using the new technology.
Mr. Babar said that the President appreciated the Orient Group for their success as a model of China’s reforms of non-state enterprises observing that China’s continued success was a testament to the wisdom of its leadership, the genius of its entrepreneurs and the hard work and determination of its people. He said that Chinese success was a source of inspiration and matter of pride for Pakistan. The President said that we look forward to benefit from Chinese experience in Port Managements, financial services, banking and investment and food and agriculture sector.
The President said that Pakistan offers investment opportunities in a variety of traditional and modern sectors. He said that energy, oil and gas, mining textiles, engineering goods, electronics, chemicals, infrastructure, telecommunications, IT and agriculture were the priority areas where Pakistan was looking forward to enhance cooperation with China.
He said that the initiative taken by ICBC last month by opening its branches in Pakistan would be the beginning of a new era of cooperation in not only the banking sector of the two countries but would also help to further promote and facilitate mutual trade.
He said that the Government’s efforts to translate existing equation with China into economic terms were yielding results as more and more Chinese businessmen were showing greater interest in taking advantage of investment and business friendly policies and terms offered by Pakistan.
He said that the Government was committed to provide maximum facilitation to the Chinese businessmen in Pakistan besides ensuring their security.
He urged Orient Group to consider further exploring investment opportunities in other areas also including port management, financial services, banking and investment, food and agriculture.
Mr. Zhang Hongwei, Chairman of Orient Group/United Energy Co., thanked the President for meeting. He also thanked the Government for facilitating the company in its business pursuits. He expressed his company’s keen interest in exploring various venues where the company could invest and take advantage of investment opportunities offered by Pakistan.
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