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Pakistani ambassador welcomes China's help in developing agriculture

DATE:2015-01-23       SOURCE:China Daily

Pakistan's ambassador to China, Masood Khalid, speaking at a trade and investment fair in Beijing on Tuesday, invited Chinese companies to help develop his nation's agriculture to boost the two nations' common food security.

The China-Pakistan Trade and Investment Symposium was held at the Embassy of Pakistan.

The event was aimed at helping participants from Pakistan's business and investment communities to interact with their Chinese counterparts in a business-to-business format.

Khalid said his country attaches great value to facilitating the growth of the Chinese business community in Pakistan. He urged Chinese businesses to explore Pakistan's vast market potential.

There are many products that are ripe for joint ventures, such as cotton, cotton yarn, leather, rice, cereals, animal feed, stones, marble, gems for jewelry, fruit and vegetables, he said.

Khalid noted that both nations had evolved a viable framework and legal architecture to accelerate their economic collaboration. Mechanisms available include the Joint Economic Commission, Joint Investment Company and agreements in different sectors.

The nations' free trade agreement went into effect in 2007 and is fully operational. Trade volume due to the agreement between the two states was $13 billion in 2013, and expected to reach $15 billion by 2015.

Khalid said a wide trade gap exists, but work is in progress to allow easier access of Pakistani imports into China, provide a level playing field for Pakistani exporters and encourage investment and marketing missions from China for bulk purchases from Pakistan.

Song Jianming, deputy director general of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, said that trade between Beijing and Pakistan has been encouraging.

China's major exports to Pakistan include mobile phones, heat exchange equipment and steel, while China's imports from Pakistan mainly focus on textile yarn, agricultural products and unwrought copper and copper products.

Song said he welcomes Pakistani enterprises and trade delegations to to exhibit and purchase commodities during business activities in China such as the Canton Fair, Imported Commodities Shopping Festival and E-commerce Seminar.

Earlier, Agha Waqar Javed of the Planning and Development Department of the Pakistani province of Punjab's government listed a set of opportunities available for public-private partnerships. Incentives include government support for provision of utilities, licensing, right of way in infrastructure projects, rehabilitation and settlement where required, and provision of viability gap funding for projects viable socially but not financially.

A framework memorandum of cooperation was signed at the meeting between Beijing Zhubang Commercial Center, Beijing International Economic and Trade Development Association, and the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade.

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