Razak to Discuss Opening of Khunjarab border with China during COVID19

ISLAMABAD, Jul 04 (APP): The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, Yao Jing Saturday called on the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, to discuss the opening of the Khunjarab border as well as strategies to exploit bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the wake of the corona pandemic.

The meeting was attended by the Secretary Commerce and other senior officers of the Ministry, at the Ministry of Commerce, said a press release issue by the ministry here. During the meeting, Razak Dawood informed the Ambassador that around 186 containers were stuck at the Khunjarab border which is a cause of great concern especially among small businesses. The Ambassador apprised the Advisor that a temporary opening of the border is under consideration in order to clear the backlog of containers. Both sides agreed to finalize the modalities in this regard to resolve the issue on priority.

Talking to the Ambassador, Abdul Razak underscored that the exports of Pakistan are beginning to gain momentum after a slow down caused by the COVID19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns. Both sides need to sit together again and discuss issues related to bilateral trade with efforts to further diversify the products being exported from Pakistan, with a specific focus on value-addition, under phase II of the China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, he added.

The Chinese Ambassador discussed some proposals for Joint Ventures between Chinese and Pakistani companies, particularly in the value added agriculture sector. The Advisor highlighted that the meat and poultry exports of Pakistan have risen by more than 50% in the fiscal year 2019-20, with market accessibility to the Middle East. He added that a Joint Venture with the Chinese would benefit Pakistan because of its export potential not only in China but elsewhere as well.

The opportunities and ongoing projects of the CPEC were also discussed during the meeting. The Advisor Commerce emphasized the need to start industrial activity through the development of Special Economic Zones. He said that Joint Ventures with the Chinese companies would allow Pakistan to have improved technology and enhanced capacity for production and exports.

The Ambassador gave a brief overview of plans to enhance bilateral trade and investment.
He said that China was moving fast on some of the construction projects in Pakistan, which would create a number of jobs for the local population. In addition, the increasing pace of economic activities at Gwadar was also discussed. The Chinese Ambassador appreciated the role and efforts of the Advisor in that regard.

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