China – Pakistan touching new heights of bilateral ties

President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Mamnoon Hussain has stated that relationship between Pakistan and China has assumed a whole new dimension of strong economic underpinnings after the signing of MoU on China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) in July 2013. The President noted that the prospective trade and investment opportunities arising from the game changing project CPEC have evoked a lot of interest among the business communities of China and Pakistan. This development is bound to open new avenues of trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

The President was addressing on the occasion of a dinner hosted in honor of business delegation of China-Pakistan Friendship Association (CPFA) at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad. The business delegation of CPFA was headed by Ambassador (r) Sha Zukang. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan, Minister of State/Chairman Privatization Commission Muhammad Zubair and Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Mr. Sun Weidong were also present on the occasion. The President said that the Economic Corridor would connect the nodes of growth centres along the way and facilitate expansion of trade and investment through a network of roads, rail, fiber optic cables, and energy pipelines besides providing infrastructure for the creation of special economic zones, industrial parks and trade centres. The President stated that China is Pakistan’s major trading partner and with the signing of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), the volume of trade between the two countries has increased to US$ 12.3 billion. He emphasized that both countries should continue efforts to further improve the trade indicators.

The President said that revival of national economy has been an important pillar of government’s strategy. He added that over the past two and half years, Pakistan’s economy has managed to make significant progress in spite of challenges.

President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan was an emerging market which had one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia. He ensured that government was focused on improving investment climate in the country through implementation of Investment Strategy 2013-17 that hinges upon Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPD) for policy formulation, FDI generation and promotion campaign, investment facilitation, Development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Coordination networks with stakeholders.

The President appreciated the Ministry of Commerce and the China Pakistan Friendship Association for organizing the visit and hoped that private sector and participants from both countries would avail opportunities for creating business linkages and materialization of enhanced trade and investment partnership.

Erum Akbar

Author is an Executive Editor of Melange & Secretary Information of Pakistan & International Relations.

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