China Interested in expanding trade and investment with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Countries

Karachi: The Commercial Counsellor of China Mr YAN Jianming along with Mr. Xu Li and Mr. Pan Jiang Attachés called on Mr. Tariq Sayeed, Founder and Former President South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) CCI and Chairman SAARC Building Trust. Mr. Khurram Sayeed, Executive Committee member SAARC CCI also attended the meeting.

The purpose of the visit was to inform Mr. Tariq Sayeed that China is interested to increase its trade with SAARC member countries as well as to invest in SAARC member countries. They wanted to take advice of Mr. Sayeed in this matter.

Mr. Sayeed informed them that the current policy of China particularly of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces are giving good results as they hold China South Asia Business Forum every year as well as offer stalls in large numbers to the exhibitors of SAARC member countries and also allow sales of products. They also facilitate clearing and shifting of the exhibitors’ goods from ports upto the exhibition centre in Kunming and Chengdu at their own cost. These Forums also give opportunities for interaction between Chinese companies and the businessmen of SAARC member countries. In the last exhibition, one of the Pakistani exhibitors got an order of 20,000 towels for the first time. Mr. Sayeed suggested that China should maintain the policy of giving access to South Asian countries products to their markets including Pakistan. During these Forums specific proposals should be discussed for the establishment of joint ventures and investment opportunities.

During the discussion it was revealed that as far as Pakistan is concerned law and order situation and lack of infrastructure facilities is a handicap, particularly they mentioned about the Textile City, where the infrastructure does not exist at the movement. Mr. Sayeed informed them that he will take up these issues with the government to provide special zones with infrastructure facilities for Chinese investors.

He further suggested that China should change its Visa policy. Visa should be given to genuine businessmen on the recommendations of FPCCI, the chambers in the country and sectoral trade association. Mr. Sayeed also confirmed that he will provide a comprehensive report as desired by them regarding expansion of trade and investment from China into the SAARC region.

Mr. YAN Jianming informed that China is interested to establish FTA with SAARC member countries, in addition to Pakistan. Mr. Sayeed told them that that some countries are reluctant to FTA because balance of trade is much in favour of China. This is only possible, if China discusses this matter with business leaders of the Region and assure them that they will be beneficial to them and if China discusses list of items and vice versa.

Mr. Sayeed also informed them that Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan has emphasized to pay special focus to promote trade and investment relations with China and SAARC member countries. Mr. Zardari has made several visits to China during his tenure as President, which has paved the way for further improvement in Pakistan – China relations.

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