‘China to import potato, cherry and wheat from Pakistan’

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  • Envoy says Chinese govt will formally invite Pakistani experts to monitor the hybrid rice seed expertise of China

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said on Friday that China was interested to enhance its import of potato, cherry and wheat from Pakistan besides increasing its investments in other sectors of the economy to further cement the bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.

The ambassador called on National Food Security and Research Minister Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan and discussed matters related to the promotion of bilateral trade and cooperation in different sectors of the economy, including agriculture and livestock.

The envoy said that the Chinese government would formally invite Pakistani experts to monitor the hybrid rice seed expertise of China and to also survey the facility so that its local output of the crop could be enhanced.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that Pakistan and China were members of various organizations and being the member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Pakistan had endorsed agreement on cooperation in agriculture between the governments of the member states of the organization.

China, he said, produces food for 20pc of the world’s population and it also imports huge quantity of food for its population. China was a strong force in the South Asian region while China Pakistan Economic Corridor has opened up new avenues of cooperation between the two friendly neighbours.

The minister said that China is the 4th largest export market of Pakistan, adding that it was heartening that both countries have signed free trade agreement (FTA) which has facilitated the expansion of bilateral trade.

He further said that the prime minister’s visit to China in November last year was instrumental in more than one ways, as both the sides signed, besides other agreements, memorandums of understanding on agriculture cooperation, followed by Chinese delegation’s visit to the Ministry of National Food Security.

Mehboob Sultan said that the government was moving ahead to collaborate in achieving foot and mouth disease (FMD) free zone, adding that a memorandum of requirements for the establishment of FMD free zone is currently being negotiated by both sides.

“We believe in ease of doing business and if we collaborate for the elimination of FMD, it will boost our meat export to China,” he added.

The minister on the occasion invited the Chinese experts to visit the three districts of Punjab which are identified as FMD free zones.

He hoped that both countries, in the coming Joint Working Group meeting, would deliberate upon establishing an FMD vaccine plant in Pakistan and subsequently move towards self-reliance in the subject.

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