Imran directs to provide
all facilities to Chinese
companies for CPEC

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday lauded China’s investment in special economic zones (SEZs) in the country as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, the PM Office said in a statement.
Imran Khan was speaking to President Xi Jinping by telephone. CPEC is a central part of the Belt and Road Initiative, under which Beijing has pledged over $60 billion for infrastructure projects in Pakistan, much of it in the form of loans.
Khan “lauded the successful, timely and high-quality implementation of the CPEC projects, and welcomed Chinese investments in the CPEC Special Economic Zones,” the PM Office said in a statement.
Xi and Khan agreed to work to strengthen bilateral economic and commercial ties, including “full realization of the potential offered by the Phase-II of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, to overcome the economic headwinds,” the statement said.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan with China’s President Xi Jinping

Earlier this month PM Khan directed authorities to take “all possible” measures to provide land, electricity and gas connections as well as tax incentives to attract more Chinese companies to invest in special economic zones in the country.
He also said out of a total of 27 SEZs in Pakistan, work on five industrial zones in Sindh’s Dhabeji, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Rashakai, Bostan and Gwadar in Balochistan and Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Punjab was in “full swing.”
The two leaders also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and called on the international community to provide immediate humanitarian and economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan “to alleviate their suffering, prevent instability and flight of people, as well as continued engagement for rebuilding of the country,” the statement read.

China – huge potential market

China is a huge potential market for Pakistani goods and the country should find ways to continuously expand exports to China to reduce bilateral trade imbalance, said Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law.

“To reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, both sides should make efforts and Pakistan needs to find ways to continuously expand exports to China, so as to raise the bilateral trade and economic cooperation to a new level consistent with the strategic relationship between the two countries, Cheng, also a senior Fellow of the Charhar Institute stated in his article published by China Economic Net (CEN).

Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law

He said that Pakistan has many favourable conditions for expanding exports to China. First, China and Pakistan enjoy good political and diplomatic relations.
Second, the Protocol of the Second Phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and its special preferential terms have created very favourable conditions for Pakistani goods to enter China on a large scale.
Third, China is a large country with a population of 1.4 billion and a neighbour bordering Pakistan. As long as both sides try all their efforts, China can become a huge market for Pakistani goods.
With the all-weather strategic partnership between the countries and the continuous development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Sino-Pakistan bilateral trade and economic cooperation has entered a new era.
“If both countries make sustained efforts, I firmly believe that it is entirely possible for the bilateral trade between the two countries to continuously create new highs on the current basis, so that Pakistan can become China’s main trading partner in the South Asian subcontinent.
I always hope that if Pakistan’s exports to China reach the level of China’s exports to Pakistan, so as to achieve a trade balance, the bilateral trade could soon reach more than $30 billion. If it reaches $100 billion with several years of efforts, Pakistan will become China’s largest trading partner in the South Asian subcontinent”.
The Chinese scholar suggested that first, Pakistan has many high-quality commodities, such as cotton yarn, textiles, agricultural products, aquatic products, minerals, medical equipment, handicrafts and sports products, etc.
The Pakistani government and enterprises should strengthen promotion in the Chinese market by participating in exhibitions and holding exhibitions so that Chinese importers and consumers can better understand the superior Pakistani products.
Second, while actively exploring the Chinese market, Pakistan needs to take further measures to improve transportation, product packaging, inspection and quarantine, etc.
Third, China and Pakistan need further close cooperation in product design, product R & D, brand, marketing, consulting and other fields.
Fourth, the customs and inspection and quarantine departments of China and Pakistan should strengthen docking to further increase the export of Pakistani agricultural products such as potato, onion, cherry and rice to China.
Fifth, the two sides should encourage more and more Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan and cooperate with Pakistani enterprises, so as to improve the competitiveness of Pakistani products in the Chinese market.