PM’s aide, Chinese envoy discuss reopening of Khunjerab border 

Ambassador Yao Jing says China is considering temporary reopening of border so as to clear backlog of containers

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ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of China to Pakistan Yao Jing on Saturday called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood to discuss the opening of Khunjerab border as well as strategies to exploit bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the wake of Covid-19.

During the meeting, the adviser informed the envoy that around 186 containers were stuck at the Khunjerab border, owing to which concerns among small businesses were rising.

On this, the envoy apprised said the temporary opening of the border was under consideration so as to clear the backlog of containers.

Both sides agreed to finalise modalities in this regard so that the issue could be resolved at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the PM’s adviser informed the envoy that Pakistani exports have started gaining momentum after the Covid-related slowdown. “Both sides need to sit together again and discuss issues related to bilateral trade, with an aim to further diversify the products being exported from Pakistan, under phase-II of the China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement,” he added.

The Chinese ambassador discussed some proposals for joint ventures between Chinese and Pakistani companies, particularly in the value-added agriculture sector.

Moreover, the adviser highlighted that the meat and poultry exports of Pakistan had risen by more than 50pc in FY20, with market access to the Middle East.

He said that a joint venture with Chinese in this regard would benefit Pakistan to realise its export potential.

The ongoing projects of CPEC were also discussed during the meeting, wherein the commerce adviser emphasized the need to start the industrial activity through the development of Special Economic Zones.

He said that JVs with the Chinese companies would allow Pakistan to have improved technology and enhanced capacity for production and exports.

“China is moving fast on some of the construction projects in Pakistan, which will create a number of jobs for the local population,” he added.

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