BEIJING: Expressing his delight over China’s support to boost Pakistan’s economy and infrastructure development, Ambassador Masood Khan said here that during the landmark visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to Islamabad last month both sides signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth US $ 10 billion.“Premier Wen’s visit to Pakistan was a landmark. During the Pakistan-China Business Cooperation Summit, enterprises and entities from both sides signed MoUs and Agreements worth US $ 10 billion” said Khan here at a welcoming lunch he hosted for Chinese key officials, executives and entrepreneur as well as members of Premier Wen’s entourage to Pakistan.He said that these MoUs covered the areas of transmission, alternate energy, electronics, space, science and technology, vehicles, textiles, precious stones, fisheries, and minerals.These agreements, he further said were possible because of the combined efforts of CCPIT and MOFCOM from China; and the Board of Investment,Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Pakistan.He pointed out that over the years, MOFCOM, CCPIT and Chinese entrepreneurs and businesses have played an active role in promoting economic partnerships with Pakistan and promoting bilateral trade.Their peers and counterparts in Pakistan, Khan said have responded in full measure to expand our economic ties so that they can fully match the political solidarity we have.The reception was largely attended by heads and senior officials of Chinese prominent business community as well as Yu Ping, Vice Chairman, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Lv Kejian, Director General Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and Liang Wen Tao, Deputy Director General MOFCOM, Besides pacts with private sector, government to government agreements were also finalized on post-flood reconstruction, Security and Exchange Commissions, opening of ICBC branches in Islamabad and Karachi, currency swap arrangement, and a new energy cooperation mechanism.The 2011 is a special year for Pakistan-China relations, he said adding this year we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
In addition, the two sides have finalized 36 projects for the next Five Year Development Programme (FYDP) for the period 2012 to 2016.These projects cover areas of education, health, water resources, agriculture,transport, energy, ICT and industry.Pakistan wants to increase our bilateral trade from the current US $ 7 billion to US $ 15 billion in the shortest possible time and make full use of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on goods, investment and services, Khan said adding that many practical steps including purchase missions, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions, seminars, visa facilitation, and unilateral tariff concession for Pakistani product lines have been identified.
Khan pointed out that Pakistan and China have also agreed at the highest level to establish an entrepreneurs forum to strengthen exchanges between the business communities of the two countries.“In the coming years, we shall also explore trans-border economic zones and special economic zones” he added.
Proposals, he said are also under consideration to open new air routes and increase number of flights.“We especially welcome and deeply appreciate Chinese corporations and entrepreneurs contribution to this process and the constant leadership provided by the Ministry of Commerce and China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)” Ambassador Khan maintained.Ambassador Khan said that “we have much to celebrate. In the past 60 years, every year our friendship has been scaling new heights. This friendship has become part of our collective psyche; and the legend of our unique association echoes into the hearts and minds of the people of both countries. This was evident during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Pakistan when leaders of all political parties attended the luncheon and dinner hosted by our Prime Minister and President”.Expressing thanks to participants especially Director General Lv Kejian and his MOFCOM colleagues; and CCPIT Vice Chairman Yu Ping for their support and leadership, Ambassador Khan also appreciated Sardar Aminullah Khan, Minister (Economic) of the Embassy of Pakistan, who took the initiative for organizing the get together.Speaking on the occasion the senior Chinese officials said that both sides would continue to support in enhancing our all weather cooperative partnership – APP