ISLAMABAD: China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has said Beijing is keen to import meat, potatoes, onions, mango and cherry from Pakistan.
He called on Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar the other day and expressed his confidence on him as former Minister for Planning and Development vis-a-vis his contribution towards the expansion of phase-II of CPEC and his considerable contributions therein, a press release said.
Yao Jing said experts will visit quarantine facilities by next month to finalise the import of these commodities to further enhance bilateral trade between both the countries. He also acknowledged his dedicated efforts for giving new impetus to agricultural cooperation under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Chinese ambassador said China has a great demand for meat and poultry and it can be a lucrative international market for Pakistan and both countries must work together for removal of technical barriers like SPS and quarantine requirements.
He further added China wants to build stronger socioeconomic ties with Pakistan and also wants to buy more from Pakistan. Khusro Bakhtiar said we are focusing on strategically structuring agriculture sector under CPEC. “We want enhanced productivity of cotton which has considerably plummeted, both countries can work on exchange of pest-resistant, high yielding germplasm(s) of cotton,” Bakhtiar added.
The Pak-China Centre of Excellence is going to be established in Multan with close coordination of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) to formulate a holistic strategy for the said purpose, he added. He also apprised the Chinese ambassador regarding the ongoing threat posed by locusts and efforts to contain the menace.
The minister added that under Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme, “we are leaving no stone unturned to align this sector with international standards and for that we need to equip it with modern agricultural machinery, low cost of production and modern research.”
He said we are moving ahead to collaborate in achieving Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone and a memorandum for the establishment of FMD free zone is currently negotiated by both sides. He said, “we believe in ease of doing business and if we collaborate for the elimination of FMD, it will boost our meat export to China”.
The minister further underlined the importance of mutual cooperation in areas of value addition and food processing of horticultural crops.
He expressed his pleasure and satisfaction that bilateral relations are growing in right direction. It is pertinent to mention that the minister has nominated focal person from National Food Security and Research for coordination and Chinese side has also appointed agriculture councilor as their focal person.