SHANGHAI: After his hectic engagements in Beijing, Prime Minister Imran Khan has reached Shanghai to attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE). The prime minister will address the opening ceremony of the Expo as keynote speaker on Monday. Shanghai’s Vice Mayor Peng Chenlei received the Prime Minister upon his arrival.
Foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance minister Asad Umar, Planning minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan are accompanying the prime minister.
Earlier, PM Khan visited the Central Party School’s Exhibition Hall in Beijing. The prime minister was briefed on the philosophy and history of the school, and contribution in state administration. PM Khan commended President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that aims at enhancing regional and international connectivity. The two sides reiterated that BRI represents a win-win model of international cooperation and provides new opportunities for economic rejuvenation and prosperity for all countries.
As a signature project of BRI, the fast development of CPEC has played a significant role in the Belt and Road cooperation.
The two sides noted the growing volume of bilateral trade and agreed to take concrete measures to address trade imbalance. These would include exchange of trade missions, broadening market access for agricultural and ICT products, and simplifying customs, quarantine and phytosanitary procedures. In this context, the two sides agreed to conclude the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement as early as possible, and continue discussions on the Pakistan-China Agreement on Trade in Services.
Pakistan and China agreed to strengthen economic cooperation by fully leveraging the existing cooperative arrangements such as China-Pakistan Business Council, which is composed of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and those between Industry and Stock Exchanges of the two countries. The two sides agreed to hold the next round of the Joint Economic Commission early next year.
The two sides attached importance to friendly cooperation between the People’s Bank of China and the State Bank of Pakistan. They expressed satisfaction at the operationalization of the currency-swap agreement and reaffirmed the need to further strengthen cooperative ties of financial and banking sectors between the two countries. Both sides noted with satisfaction that Chinese and Pakistani banks have operations in both countries. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation on tourism promotion.