GILGIT: A delegation from Gilgit-Baltistan has visited the Tashkurgan town in Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China, to discuss matters of mutual interest and sought relaxation on exports to the neighbouring country through Khunjerab Pass.
The parliamentary delegation, headed by GB Assembly Speaker Syed Amjad Ali Zaidi and on a five-day visit to Xinjiang, also asked Chinese authorities to include five items from GB in the free trade agreement.
In a meeting between Chinese authorities and the GB delegation, the two sides agreed to start weekly flight operations between the Tashkurgan and Kashgar areas of Xinjiang and Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan to boost bilateral trade and tourism.
They also agreed to establish a joint small business bank to facilitate small traders and businesses. The two sides agreed to establish a trade zone in GB to promote border trade.
The Tashkurgan authorities said that they would lift travel restrictions within Xinjiang region for the border pass holders of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Chinese side assured that GB would be equally benefited in the upcoming China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Certain other issues were also discussed during the meetings, such as the establishment of fruit and minerals processing zones and scientific help from Chinese experts in agriculture, food and climate change by setting up a research institute in GB or cooperation with the region’s local universities.
Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2023