Pak-China trade jumps by US $ 2 bln to US $ 8.7 bln

BEIJING: In the past one year – 2010 – Pakistan-China bilateral trade has registered an overall growth of 28% and touched the figure of US$ 8.7 billion, while in 2009, the volume of the two sides trade was US $6.7 billion.Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, while welcoming the swift increase in the volume of bilateral trade said that the most remarkable growth had been in Pakistan’s exports which increased last year by 37.44%; while imports from China also grew by 25%.

The Ambassador attributed the growth in Pakistani exports to the enhanced market of cotton yarn and mineral products in China. “The trend seems to be pretty stable,” he noted.

“Despite the encouraging growth pattern, we would not sit on our laurels. There is a long way to go as we have to achieve the US $15 billion mark and move beyond it in the near future,” Masood Khan said. Pakistan and China have resolved to increase their trade to US$ 15 billion in the shortest possible time. The recent trend of growth in Pakistan-China bilateral trade has put the two countries on a fast track to achieve this target.

In 2010, the biggest spurt in Pakistani exports to China has been in cotton yarn, home textiles, garments, ores and mineral products, copper and copper scrap, leather goods, fish products, electrical goods, and medical and surgical instruments.
To give a fresh stimulus and to promote Chinese investment in Pakistan, the second meeting of Pakistan-China Free Trade Commission (FTC) was held in November last year.

Furthermore, during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Pakistan last month, the two sides decided to launch in the first quarter of this year the second phase negotiations of Pak-China FTAs with the objective to enhance trade liberalization and to promote economic and trade growth of the two countries.

Pakistan has requested China for unilateral tariff concessions for 268 of its product lines. If these concessions are agreed, Pakistani exports to China will increase even more rapidly.

Pakistan exports to China, cotton yarn and fabrics, synthetic yarn and fabrics, garments, home textiles, chromium and other ores, fish and fish products, vegetable and animal products, marble, granite and stone products, medical instruments, sports goods, carpets etc.

From China, Pakistan imports, polyester and silk fabrics, polyester staple fabrics, fertilizers, tyres, mobile communication equipment, gas turbines, motorcycle parts, combustion piston engines, electrical appliances, iron and steel products, and various other forms of machinery.

Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in recent meetings had agreed to take a series of measures to improve the balance of trade in Pakistan’s favour by encouraging frequent visits of Chinese purchase missions to Pakistan, Pakistani traders’ and trade associations’ participation in major Chinese Trade Fairs and Expos.

It has also been decided by the two sides to hold seminars as well as to enhance visa facilitation. Pakistan has also proposed to China for the development of an efficient Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to realize the full potential of the FTAs – APP