Chi­nese Pre­mier’s Land­mark Ar­rival

Southasia - - BRIEFING -

Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang made a his­toric two day visit to Pak­istan and held talks with Pres­i­dent Asif Ali Zar­dari, care­taker Prime Min­is­ter Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and the then prime min­is­ter-elect Nawaz Sharif, to dis­cuss op­tions to boost trade.

Trade be­tween China and Pak­istan hit the US$12 bil­lion mark for the first time last year, up by 18 per­cent on the pre­vi­ous year. The two sides are com­mit­ted to rais­ing this to US$15 bil­lion in the next two to three years.

Li, who was on his first over­seas tour af­ter be­ing elected prime min­is­ter in March, as­sured of­fi­cials that both coun­tries would co­op­er­ate on power gen­er­a­tion as Is­lam­abad makes ef­forts to end its en­ergy cri­sis which has brought the econ­omy to a stand­still.

Dur­ing Li’s visit, the two coun­tries also signed agree­ments re­lated to en­ergy, tech­nol­ogy and space; inked the Agree­ment on Bound­ary Man­age­ment Sys­tem be­tween Xin­jiang and Gil­gitBaltistan; signed a MoU on mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion, bor­der ports and their man­age­ment sys­tem, and agreed on es­tab­lish­ing the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute at Karachi Univer­sity. Other agree­ments cov­ered an eco­nomic cor­ri­dor plan and satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

Li as­sured that the friendly re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and China will ben­e­fit their eco­nomic ties. The Chi­nese pre­mier was con­fi­dent that the two coun­tries can pro­mote the build­ing of the China-Pak­istan eco­nomic cor­ri­dor to boost trade and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

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