China, Pakistan discuss ways to expand trade

BEIJING: The one-day China-Pakistan cooperation conference held on Monday in Beijing, discussed ways to explore opportunities for their future cooperation as well as to expand their investments in each other’s country.

Officials and renowned academics from China and Pakistan had in-depth discussions designed to explore opportunities for future cooperation as well as expansion of bilateral investments in each country.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan said Pakistan welcomed trade delegations from China. He said his government is also sending trade delegations, investors to expos, exhibitions around China as one of ways of balancing trade between the two countries.

In 2010, trade between China and Pakistan grew by 27.7 percent from a year earlier to $8.67 billion, with Pakistan’s exports to China increasing by 25.5 percent and imports by 37.2 percent.

On priority areas for Chinese investments in Pakistan, Khan said Pakistan is looking into cooperative projects in sectors such as energy, telecommunications, infrastructure and port development. “Foreign investors are as secure in Pakistan as they can be in any part of the world,” he added.

“We have taken special measures to protect Chinese investment in Pakistan, including paying special attention to the protection of Chinese personnel, their work places and places where they live as well as their movement from their residential areas to their work place. And they are provided with extensive police and security personnel,” said the ambassador. About 120 Chinese projects are now underway in Pakistan and there are 13,000 Chinese people working there.

With theme of “Generating opportunities and seeking common development,” conference participants included a number of experts from both countries. Director of Tsinghua University’s Pakistan Culture and Communications Centre is very optimistic that Chinese businesses will have a bright investment future with China’s second-largest trade partner in South Asia.

He noted that Pakistan is “a safe place to work from his own work experiences. I’ve taken my students with me to Pakistan. Each of my students has been well protected by Pakistani army. And the Pakistanis are all very friendly to Chinese visitors.”

To mark 60th anniversary of the founding of bilateral ties between China and Pakistan, one-day conference covered many fields of discussion, such as China’s investment potential, security of their investment projects in Pakistan, infrastructure cooperation projects, educational exchanges, as well as bilateral cooperation in culture and communication.

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