Consul General of China Zhao Shiren said on Thursday that collaboration in various sectors of economy between the private sector of Pakistan and his country could take bilateral trade to new heights.
The Consulate will fully cooperate for exchange of trade delegations between the two countries, he said while talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Mian Nauman Kabir. LCCI Senior Vice President Rehman Aziz Chan, Vice President Haris Ateeq and former senior vice president Ali Hussam Asghar were also president.
The consul general identified some issues regarding policy, taxation and duty tariff and said that the visa issues would be resolved soon. He said that Punjab had a lot of potential while Lahore is a hub of trade and economic activates. “I am very happy to visit Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry,” the consul general said.
He added that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crucial project under 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.
LCCI President Nauman Kabir said, “We are very mindful of the deep and close ties between Pakistan and China and are fully determined to play our role in further strengthening these relations.” He said that CPEC had given new height to these ties and the project had the potential to change the fate of Pakistan. He said that China was the best friend and most reliable neighbour of Pakistan. “We are really grateful to China for its full support and help whenever Pakistan faces any challenging situation,” he said.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan government and public, both are at the same page while welcoming Chinese investors to Pakistan. He said that China has been the leading trading partner of Pakistan since long. It comes at 1st place and 2nd place respectively among the top importing and exporting countries for Pakistan across the globe.
The LCCI president said that in year 2020-21, the volume of total trade was nearly $15.34 billion. Pakistan’s imports from China accounted for $13.3 billion and exports stood at $2.04 billion. “It is encouraging to see that the volume of bilateral trade by the end ten months of current financial year has already gone to $16.7 billion. It depicts that there is almost 9pc increase in two way trade,” Mian Nauman Kabir added.
He said that 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 exports earnings have already reached $2.34 billion, registering almost 15 percent increase.
Nauman Kabir said that although the balance of bilateral trade is not in favour of Pakistan, but the country should maintain the present trends in trade so that Pakistan may gradually bridge the gap of trade deficit.
LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan said that Chinese and Pakistani businessmen should step into joint ventures in aluminum and cooper recycling plants.
Vice President Haris Ateeq said that the support of Chinese consul general was important to achieve the desired results.