Pakistan, China expand bilateral cooperation in diverse fields in recent years: Pak Envoy

BEIJING, July 4 (APP):  Pakistan and China have deepened their all-weather cooperation in recent years and have expanded bilateral ties in diverse fields of cooperation for mutual benefit, Pakistan Ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi said.
“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the relevant departments of our two countries have maintained close coordination to ensure that our bilateral cooperation is not affected,” she told China Today in an interview.

Ambassador Hashmi said in the past, the two countries have concluded agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, infrastructure, industrial cooperation, and cultural cooperation and devised various mechanisms for their implementation.

“Thanks to our bilateral cooperation, Pakistan has succeeded in laying a robust and solid infrastructure network to support its growing economy and overcome festering energy shortages, which had stifled our growth. Both countries now look forward to building upon these gains and extending this cooperation to other unexplored territories”, she added.

With Chinese assistance, we are working on a wide array of projects for socio-economic uplift for the people of Pakistan. The successful conclusion of the Second Phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement has opened a new channel for multiplying our trade volumes.

“We also plan to deepen practical cooperation in agriculture, forestry, poverty alleviation, tourism, governance, and financial discipline. We are devising policies to attract Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan for robust, inclusive, and sustainable growth,” she said.

Ambassador Hashmi said, during President Arif Alvi’s visit, the two sides signed MoUs to establish two separate joint working groups on agriculture, and science and technology. The two countries also inked several agreements to deepen bilateral cooperation for pest and disease control and combating the coronavirus epidemic.

“I am confident and hopeful, that in line with the vision of our leadership and aspirations of our peoples, our future cooperation in diverse realms of bilateral relations would be dynamic and vibrant, thereby setting a high bar for strong and mutually beneficial inter-state relations,” she added.

In response to a question regarding multi-level cooperation between the two countries to fight the novel coronavirus, she said, China was the first country to face the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and the only country in the world to have comprehensively contained the virus.

“After its remarkable progress in the fight against the pandemic, China is now playing a commendable role in the global efforts to battle COVID-19. As the primary supplier of COVID-19 relief items, critical medical equipment, and related personal protective equipment for epidemic control and prevention, China’s sincerity and pivotal role in helping the rest of the world contain the epidemic must be acknowledged and appreciated,” she added.

Ambassador Hashmi said, like other countries, Pakistan has also been gripped by the pandemic with the cases of reported infections and mortality rate rising sharply. As iron-brothers, all-weather strategic partners, and most reliable friends, China’s state institutions, leading enterprises, and private individuals responded passionately and made generous donations of an overwhelming number of critical supplies and medical equipment to Pakistan.

Besides, China also sent several medical teams to Pakistan to share their expertise and skills with our experts to help them combat the pandemic. China is also extending support to Pakistan to help build a hospital to treat COVID-19 patients, she added.

She said, this much needed help and assistance, indeed, is emblematic of strong brotherly sentiments that people of the two countries harbor for each other.
“We are grateful to Chinese people for the warm and generous support and help they have extended to Pakistan and look forward for a closer cooperation to continue our fight against this deadly epidemic,” she added.

On the role of international cooperation in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, she said the pandemic is the most serious challenge the global community has confronted since World War II. This crisis could deal a debilitating blow to international economic growth, regional integration, and the progress of globalization, thereby undoing some achievements humankind has made so far.
“The current situation, therefore, calls for greater coordination and cooperation in the global community for curbing and comprehensively eliminating this menace,” she added.

China has displayed openness, transparency, and willingness to cooperate with all parties to combat the pandemic and prevent its recurrence. It immediately shared the genome structure of the virus with the WHO once the country obtained it and kept the avenues of international cooperation and consultations open. China has also provided massive assistance to more than 100 countries to enable them to defeat the pandemic.

“Chinese efforts are indicative of its role, as a responsible major power, on matters of global concern and international cooperation. Pakistan wholeheartedly appreciates Chinese measures and will extend its complete support and assistance in this regard,”she added.

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