LAHORE - Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif has said that France has played a commendable role in the progress and prosperity of Pakistan, and both the countries enjoy strong friendly ties in addition to their economic and trade relations. He expressed these views while talking to French Ambassador in Pakistan Daniel Jouaneau, who called on him at the CM Secretariat here on Tuesday. Cooperation in different sectors as well as matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting. Talking to the French Envoy, the Chief Minister said that the Punjab was rich in natural resources, and had vast opportunities of investment in different sectors. He appreciated the cooperation of France in water supply and solid waste management projects in Lahore and Faisalabad, adding that supply of potable water and management of solid waste were of vital importance for creating a healthy atmosphere, and the Punjab government had been taking further measures for this purpose. He said that in the first phase, water supply and solid waste management projects would start in Lahore with the cooperation of France, for which, he added, the feasibility report had been prepared. In the second phase, this project would start in Faisalabad the next year, he informed and added that it was mandatory for the company, which would implement water treatment projects in Lahore and Faisalabad, to also execute solid waste management project. He said that on the pattern of Lahore and Faisalabad, a comprehensive strategy had been adopted for the supply of potable water in all districts so as to save the people from water borne diseases. The CM further said that the government had created a favourable atmosphere for foreign investment in the province and all out facilities were being provided to them. He said that there was a wide scope of investment in agriculture, livestock and energy sectors in Punjab while France could also extend cooperation in mass transit project. He appreciated the efforts of French Ambassador Daniel Jouaneau for strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries as well as for promotion of cooperation in different sectors in Punjab. He said that French President was also playing a commendable role for the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, the French Envoy said that economic and trade relations between France and Pakistan had been strengthening with the passage of time, and France would extend cooperation to the Punjab government for development of different sectors. He informed that a team of French experts would visit Faisalabad within next few days in connection with the water treatment plant. He further said that France was also interested in mass transit project in Lahore and prospects of cooperation in this sector would also be explored. He said that French entrepreneurs were also interested in investment in Punjab. Member National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Senior Special Assistant Pervez Malik, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board, Pir Saad Ehsanuddin, Haroon Khawaja, Additional Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries of Livestock, Industries and Housing Departments, Commissioner Lahore Division, senior officers of French Embassy and Honourary Consul of France in Pakistan Ashiq Qureshi were also present during the meeting.