Pakistan, China ink agreements in banking, economic cooperation, gold extraction

pakistan-china-ink-agreements-in-banking-economic-cooperation-gold-extractionBEIJING, China, May 18: Pakistan and China on Wednesday inked three agreements on banking, economic and technical cooperation and extension of gold and copper extraction from the Saindak mines. China also offered a 70 million RMB grant for flood reconstruction and a $ 100 million soft term loan to Pakistan. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing of agreements after holding talks at the Great Hall of the People here.

The agreements include a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between China Banking Regulatory Authority and State Bank of Pakistan, and two agreements; one on economic and technical cooperation and the other on extending the Saindak Gold and Copper Mining Project up to year 2017.

The two leaders also agreed to further strengthen their existing close and deep rooted multifaceted ties and strategic partnership through increased cooperation in diverse fields. Prime Minister Gilani and Premier Wen held a frank exchange of views on various issues of mutual interest, including bilateral relations and situation in the region.

Premier Wen Jiabao said he had “an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues.”
“We have also reached a broad consenus that no matter what the global landscape is we will remain good neighbours, friends and partners.”
He hoped that Prime Minister Gilani’s visit would help boost friendship and cooperation between the two countries and take them to new heights. He acknowledged Pakistan’s contributions in the war against terror and said relations between the two countries have stood the test of time. Prime Minister Gilani and Premier Wen first had a 45-minute one-on-one meeting, before they were joined by their respective delegations for official talks that also continued for around 45 minutes.

During the delegation level talks, Prime Minister Gilani was assisted by Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Law Minister Maula Bakhsh Chandio and Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan. During the talks, which were held in a very cordial atmosphere, there was commonality of views on various issues of regional and international importance, with particular reference to the peace and stability of region. The Chinese Premier noted the role Pakistan was playing in countering terrorists and said that the international community should not forget the huge sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the global campaign against terrorism and extremism.

Both the leaders expressed their firm resolve to further strengthen their bilateral ties in diverse fields, including trade and economy, science and technology, defence and energy sectors. They noted that increased collaboration at the highest level between the two countries in the recent past had proved beneficial, with both Pakistan and China making steady progress in all spheres. The Chinese Premier noted the frequent visits of the Pakistani leadership to China and said it reflected close ties between the two countries. Both the sides noted that Pakistan and China enjoyed an exemplary relationship with a high degree of mutual trust, understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues.

Prime Minister Gilani also apprised Premier Wen of the several challenges facing Pakistan, including economic problems, which he said, were mainly due to the peculiar security situation in the region. Later Premier Wen Jiabao hosted a banquet in honour of Prime Minister Gilani and his delegation. Prime Minister Gilani’s delegation also includes Senators Maulana Abdul Rasheed JUI-F and Syed Zafar Ali Shah PML-N, MNAs: Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan (PPP), Ms Palwasha Khan (PPP), Ch. Liaquat Abbas Bhatti (PML), Noorul Haq Qadri (FATA), Salahuddin (MQM), Ms Jameela Gilani (ANP), Maulana Abdul Rashdi (JUI) and Syed Sadaruddin Rashdi (PML-F). – app