China and Pak­istan – Build­ing bridges

Enterprise - - Contents - Makhdoom Amin Fahim (left) and Tariq Iqbal Puri ad­dress­ing the Forum.

Pak­istan has been the ro­tat­ing pres­i­dent of the 7th Chi­naSouth Asia Busi­ness Forum (CSABF) held con­cur­rently with the 5th South Asian Coun­tries Trade Fair and the 20th Kun­ming Im­port and Ex­port Fair, held from June 5 to 7, in Kun­ming in China. This year’s Busi­ness Forum was based on the theme “Build­ing Bridges through So­cio-Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion”.

While de­liv­er­ing the key­note speech at the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion of the Forum, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Com­merce, hoped that Pak­istan and China would fur­ther strengthen their trade and eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship as Pak­istan is also look­ing for ex­pan­sion in re­gional trade.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim stated that the 21st cen­tury is the Asian cen­tury. Pak­istan and China have very close his­tor­i­cal ties, there­fore spe­cial fo­cus is needed to en­hance trade and in­vest­ment be­tween the two nations. The min­is­ter pointed out that Pak­istan has a huge po­ten­tial for for­eign in­vest­ment and at­tempts are be­ing made to en­sure max­i­mum fa­cil­i­ta­tion through sup­port­ive in­vest­ment poli­cies.The World Bank, he said, had ranked Pak­istan No.1 over­all, in South Asia in com­par­i­son to other coun­tries in­clud­ing In­dia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in “ease of do­ing busi­ness”. This higher rank­ing in­di­cates bet­ter and stronger reg­u­la­tion for busi­ness and bet­ter pro­tec­tion of prop­erty rights and it also high­lights Pak­istan’s open­ness for trade and in­vest­ment.

The in­au­gu­ral ses­sion of the Busi­ness Forum, which was at­tended by top Chi­nese lead­er­ship of Yun­nan prov­ince and dig­ni­taries of South Asian coun­tries, was mod­er­ated by Tariq Puri, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive TDAP. Puri stressed that Pak­istan is play­ing a key role in bridg­ing the gap and is strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned to in­crease eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion among the re­gional hubs and China.

Li Ji­heng, Gover­nor of Yun­nan Prov­ince, along with the lo­cal lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party called on Pak­istan’s Min­is­ter of Com­merce and briefed him about the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment poli­cies for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, es­pe­cially in the Western re­gion of China. They also ap­prised him of the fact that China gave great im­por­tance to in­creas­ing trade and in­vest­ment among the re­gional coun­tries and es­pe­cially with the South Asian coun­tries. Fahim stated that Pak­istan of­fered in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties es­pe­cially in min­eral, hy­dropower and re­new­able en­ergy sec­tors. The Gover­nor of Yun­nan Prov­ince also hosted a din­ner in hon­our of the Min­is­ter of Com­merce and vis­it­ing Pak­istani del­e­ga­tion.

Chair­man/Pres­i­dent of Yun­nan Met­al­lur­gi­cal Com­pany; Yun­nan Nan­pian Elec­tronic In­for­ma­tion Com­pany and Yun­nan Coal Chem­i­cal Com­pany also called on the min­is­ter and showed keen in­ter­est in in­vest­ment in Pak­istan, es­pe­cially in the en­ergy sec­tor. The meet­ing was also at­tended by Con­sul Gen­eral and Com­mer­cial Coun­sel­lor of Pak­istan in Chengdu.

The CSABF was es­tab­lished to pro­mote re­gional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Chi­nese and SAARC in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial cir­cles in the con­text of ev­er­in­creas­ing mu­tual trust in po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and the South Asian coun­tries.

CSABF rep­re­sents the com­mon will of the busi­ness cir­cles for strength­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion and reap­ing mu­tual ben­e­fits in coun­tries within the re­gion and is in­tended to pro­vide an im­por­tant plat­form for bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion among the par­tic­i­pants.

Pak­istan had 150 stalls at the Forum with 75 of them un­der the ban­ner of Fed­er­a­tion of Pak­istan Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (FPCCI) and 75 un­der the ban­ner of Trade De­vel­op­ment Author­ity of Pak­istan (TDAP).

Dur­ing the visit of the Pak­istani del­e­ga­tion, TDAP also held a fash­ion show to por­tray Pak­istani cul­ture. Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Tariq Iqbal Puri at­tended the fash­ion show along with Gu Zhaoxi, Gover­nor Yun­nan Prov­ince and Wang Jin Zhen, Chair­per­son of the Chi­nese Coun­cil for Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade.

Ex­hibits from top Pak­istani de­sign­ers and de­sign houses such as Asim Jofa, Chen One, Sa­har Atif, Ambreen Khan, etc. were also dis­played by Chi­nese cat­walk mod­els. The Chi­nese dig­ni­taries ap­pre­ci­ated the event and es­pe­cially the qual­ity of Pak­istani gar­ments. Af­ter the fash­ion show, Zhen sug­gested to Puri that Pak­istani de­sign­ers should open their out­lets in Shang­hai where they will be in high de­mand by the Chi­nese peo­ple. The rep­re­sen­ta­tive of RUBA Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ) lo­cated in Lahore also ad­dressed the guests at the fash­ion show and in­vited Chi­nese in­vestors to in­vest in the SEZ.

Pak­istan’s pavilion at the Busi­ness Forum.

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