“Pakistan-China economic potential needs to be explored in true perspective as current bilateral trade volume of $8.6 billion does not reflect the gravity of our relationship.” — File Photo

KARACHI: The trade volume between China and Pakistan reached $8.6 billion in 2010, showing a rise of 27.7 per cent compared with previous year. The volume doubled as compared to the year 2005.

This was stated by Mr Li Jaishou, Chairman, China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Yunnan Province of China, during a seminar “Deepening Pakistan-China Economic Cooperation; exploring trade and investment opportunities between Pakistan and Yunnan Province, organised by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Saarc CCI at the Federation House on Monday.

However, he said “Pakistan-China economic potential needs to be explored in true perspective as current bilateral trade volume of $8.6 billion does not reflect the gravity of our relationship.”

There is a huge potential for future cooperation and development, he added.

In 2005, import and export volume between Yunnan Province and Pakistan was $11.1 million and it touched $83.4 million in 2010.

To enhance investment cooperation with Pakistan, he said he has three proposals. Firstly, the Chinese enterprise should continuously conduct exchange and cooperation with Pakistan in the areas, including project contracting out, labour cooperation, technical cooperation, tourism cooperation and transportation cooperation.

Efforts should also be made to achieve breakthrough development in areas of agriculture cooperation, hydropower cooperation and mining development.

Secondly, he said Pakistani side should pay more attention to preparation of work on investment projects, strengthen communications and exchange with industrial chamber of commerce and enterprise of relevant provinces in China.

A series of business promotion activities are held in Kunming every June, including South Asian Countries Trade Fair, China-South Asia Business Forum, Kunming Import and Export Commodity Fair, Saarc Senior Officials Meeting, GMS Economic Corridor Week, South West Investment Projects Promotion Conference for Chinese Asean Investors and Asia-Pacific Chinese Business Forum, etc.

Thirdly, he hoped that Pakistan would continuously improve investment environment and give Chinese enterprises equal entrance treatment, practically protect legal rights of Chinese enterprises and Chinese citizens.

He said efforts are underway to build Yunnan as international passageway connecting China and Southeast Asia and South Asia to make full use of its geography advantages and resource advantages to play the role as gateway.

The Chairman CCPIT invited the FPCCI and business community of Pakistan to attend the 6th China-South Asia Business Forum scheduled in Kunming City of Yunnan Province on June 6-10 followed by 4th South Asian Countries Trade Fairs, which will help promote economic cooperation between China and Pakistan and provide opportunity to Pakistani exporters to enhance exports from Pakistan.

He also offered 100 stalls for Pakistani enterprises to display their products in the trade fair and hoped that Pakistani companies will benefit from the vast potential of Chinese market.

Mr Li Jaishou said that Yunnan province will implement the strategy of opening up towards the Indian Ocean and expand trade and economic cooperation with countries surrounding the Indian ocean.

Yunnan province will speed up construction of the border opening up Pan-Asia Railway and Pan-Asia fiber network, speed up construction of export-oriented base.

He said the Ministry of Commerce of China has pointed out that in 2011 China's general foreign trade policy is to stabilise export, expand import and reduce surplus.

China will reduce the tariff of 95 per cent of commodities imported from the less developed countries to zero within three years.

He said 95 per cent of more than 7,000 categories of commodities will be charged zero tariff within this year.

FPCCI president Senator Haji Ghulam Ali in his welcome remarks said that China and Pakistan had been enjoying amicable relations on socio- political fronts which need to be materialised into sound economic cooperation.

He demanded relocation of Industry in Pakistan and technical assistance to improve productivity and competitiveness of Pakistani products.

Tariq Sayeed, Patron-in-Chief Pakistan China Business Council of FPCCI, presented a comprehensive overview of China South Asia economic cooperation and particularly identified economic complementarities for Pakistan- China Economic Cooperation and also highlighted economics of Karachi with the city of Kunming.

He also discussed areas of possible cooperation between Yunnan Province of China and Pakistan.

He put forth some suggestions for improvement of Economic Cooperation between Pakistan and China which include B2B meetings, preparation of pre-feasibility reports on trade and investment potential in Pakistan, frequent exchange of business delegations, strengthening of FPCCI offices in China and participation of Pakistani exporters in Kunming Fair.

Mr. Yan Jiang Ming, Commercial Counsellor of China, gave brief overview of Pakistan-China Economic relations and hope that bilateral trade under the leadership and CCPIT and FPCCI will further grow.


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