China is time-tested friend of Pakistan: President LCCI

Lahore: The great China is a time-tested friend and a very important partner of Pakistan in Economic Development and bilateral trade. Mutual relations of the both countries are based on solid foundations.

The visit of Chinese president H.E. Xi Jinping will be a great moment for whole Pakistani nation and this visit would associate Pakistan & China together in strong ties of love and friendship.

In a statement issued here Tuesday, President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the involvement of Chinese enterprises, both in terms of Technical and Financial assistance in several development projects is reflective of our cordial relations based on mutual trust and sincerity.

He said that China is one of the largest trading partners of Pakistan and it is expected that bilateral trade between Pakistan and China will touch the figure of $ 15 billion within the next few years. Although Pakistan’s exports to China have been gradually increasing, the trade has always been in favor of China.

“Our bilateral trade has grown, but it is nowhere near the potential that exists between the two countries. Pakistan has a lot to offer as it is rich in all kinds of resources.”

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that both the countries not only share border but also have unanimity of views on various political & economic issues. The two countries have a combined market of more than 1.5 billion people but the trade volume needs to be pushed up. The Chinese importers may have better prospects for Pakistani goods particularly of Carpets, Leather and leather products, Surgical Equipment, Sports goods, Fruits and vegetables, Rice, Pharmaceuticals, Cotton etc. Most of our industrial units in these areas are ISO certified and are producing best quality products at competitive rates as compared with other countries in the region.

The LCCI President said that joint ventures can be initiated in sectors like Construction, Hotels and Tourism; SMEs cluster development, Computer & Cellular chips,Textiles & Garments, Home Appliances, Corporate Farming, Seafood and Food Processing, Banks & Finance, Light Engineering etc.

Two most important areas where Pakistan needs urgent assistance are Energy and Agriculture.

He said that Pakistan is an agrarian society with tremendous potential in Agricultural sector. China has expertise both in agriculture and agro-based industry and if some Joint Ventures are carried out, it would be mutually beneficial for both countries. The increase in agricultural production would not only help in meeting our local demands but also enable us to export surplus quantity to China. Besides this, the Aqua- farming and Seafood Processing could be the other potential areas for Joint Ventures in which both of our countries could make wonders.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that in April 2005, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid a visit to Pakistan and signed 22 agreements, 14 of which are related to bilateral economic and trade cooperation, including the Agreement on the Early Harvest Program. In November 2006, Pakistan and China signed a bilateral Free Trade Agreement

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