Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Saturday said Pakistan gives great importance to relations with Australia and there is a need to further promote trade cooperation between the two countries.

He was talking to Pakistani High Commissioner designate to Australia, Naila Chohan, who called on him here.

He said Punjab was a big market of livestock and Halal food and Australian investors could invest in Halal food industry. The chief minister said national economy could be strengthened on sound footings through promotion of livestock and agriculture. He said livestock and agriculture sectors were of vital importance in economy. He said unemployment and poverty could be reduced by promoting both these sectors. Shahbaz Sharif said the Punjab government had evolved an effective strategy for promoting livestock in the province. He said solid measures had been taken for welfare of farmers and development of the agriculture sector. He said loans were being provided to livestock breeders on soft terms. He said Australia could enhance cooperation in livestock and agriculture sectors.  The chief minister said a very conducive atmosphere had been created for investment in Punjab and special incentives were being provided to investors for investment in various sectors. He said the Punjab Investment Board was playing very important role for the promotion of investment and resolution of problems of investors. Shahbaz Sharif said the high commissioner designate to Australia should play her due role for motivating Australian companies to invest in Halal food.

Naila Chohan said that she will play her effective role for enhancing image of the country in Australia and improving trade relations between both the countries.