Chinese envoy expects trade to hit new highs


Chinese Consul General Zhao Shiren has said that collaboration in various sectors of the economy between the private sectors of Pakistan and China can push trade to new highs and vowed that the Chinese Consulate will fully cooperate in the exchange of trade delegations between the two countries.

He made the remarks while talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Mian Nauman Kabir and office-bearers of the LCCI.

Zhao identified some issues pertaining to the policy, taxation and tariffs and said that the visa issues would be resolved soon. “Punjab has a lot of potential while Lahore is a hub of trade and economic activities,” he said.

He emphasised that CPEC, an important corridor of the Belt and Road Initiative, was not just a gift but a project of mutual interest for both the countries, which would bring prosperity to the people of Pakistan.

The LCCI president stressed that they were determined to play due role in further strengthening the bilateral relations.

He said that CPEC had taken the ties to new height and it had all the potential to change the fate of Pakistan.

“We are grateful to China for extending its full support and help whenever Pakistan faces any challenging situation,” he said. Kabir pointed out that China had been the leading trading partner of Pakistan since long. “It comes at the first and second place among the top importing and exporting countries respectively for Pakistan across the globe.”

In the year 2020-21, the total volume of trade was nearly $15.34 billion. Pakistan’s imports from China stood at $13.3 billion and exports were to the tune of $2.04 billion.

“It is encouraging that the bilateral trade volume has gone high to $16.7 billion by the end of first 10 months of current financial year. It depicts that there is almost 9% increase in two-way trade,” Kabir said.

In 2020-21, the value of Pakistan’s exports to China was $2.04 billion. “We are pleased to see that from July 2021 to April 2022, the export earnings have already reached $2.34 billion, registering almost 15% growth.”

Although the bilateral trade deficit was significant, but “we need to maintain the present trend so that Pakistan may gradually bridge the trade gap,” he emphasised.

LCCI SVP Mian Rehman Aziz Chan said that Chinese and Pakistani businessmen should forge joint ventures for the aluminium and copper recycling plants.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2022.

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