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Talks underway between Pakistan and China to finalize agreements

A Pakistani delegation in Beijing is holding talks with Chinese officials today to finalise modalities for economic cooperation, Radio Pakistan reported.

Secretary Finance Arif Ahmed Khan and State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa are part of the delegation which met top Chinese officials on Friday.

The talks follow Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to China, during which 15 agreements and MoUs were signed to enhance cooperation in economy, trade and other sectors.

During the visit, the two sides agreed to elevate Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to new heights.

PM Khan had on Thursday apprised his cabinet of the “successful” maiden visit to China, saying that Beijing had assured Islamabad “of every kind of assistance”, and that Pakistan would reap its benefits in the days to come.

Separately, a 15-member Chinese delegation paid a visit to the National Assembly today and met with Speaker Asad Qaiser, DawnNewsTV reported.

The delegation, led by Zhang Chunxian, discussed matters of mutual interest with the NA speaker.

During the meeting, Qaiser pointed out that Pakistan has benefited greatly from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and was told that by Chunxian that China wishes to see Pakistan prosper and flourish.

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CIIE gives Pakistan a chance to increase its exports to China

BEIJING   –  Pakistan’s products will be more popular in the Chinese market and Pakistan’s export to China will increase substantially after the first China International Import Expo being held at Shanghai, a senior research fellow said on Friday.

Being a market economy, the Chinese government can encourage traders and businessmen to import from Pakistan, but as for what to import and how much to import, it is mainly determined by the market and it is also closely related to the promotion of Pakistani products, Senior Research Fellow of Charhar Institute, Cheng Xizhong told APP.

Pakistan, as a country of honour, has set up a pavilion at the expo to display its main products and highlight the development process and achievements in science and technologyinformation technology and other areas. However, the import from Pakistan is also closely related to the quality of Pakistani goods and the demand in the Chinese market.

China is a large country with a population of 1.4 billion and its market is very large, and the Chinese government has many preferential policies for importing goods from Pakistan.

Therefore, it is much easier for Pakistani businessmen to export goods to China than Chinese businessmen to export goods to Pakistan because Pakistan is a small country as compared to China.

Emphasizing industrialization, he said it can greatly enhance Pakistan’s export capacity and put on Pakistan on the road of modernization and as a result, Pakistan can enhance its overall national strength in the region. “I sincerely wish that some day we could buy high-quality television sets, mobile phones, cars, and smart products from Pakistan,” he added. Cheng, also a former diplomat, said trade between China and Pakistan and how to increase Pakistan’s exports to China is an old issue that is often discussed.

“Now, we are still discussing this issue. Objectively speaking, for many years, the Chinese and Pakistani governments have made much effort to resolve this problem,” he added. He also highlighted the role of Chinese media for running a lot of reports about Pakistan and promoting friendly relations between China and Pakistan.

The Chinese media has played an important role in promoting understanding between the two peoples and promoting entry of Pakistan enterprises and commodities into China.

About the significance of the expo, he observed that in order to promote export, many countries in the world hold export fairs or import and export fairs. “This is the first time China has held an international import expo. It may also be the world’s first large-scale international import expo. This shows that as world big countries are closing, China is more and more open. China is now promoting a new round of high-level opening up to a new height,” he added.

According to economic experts, during the expo to be continued till November 10, Pakistani businessmen and traders will have an opportunity to interact with not only their Chinese counterpart but also introduce themselves to the business community of other countries as well.

The expo will create more opportunities for extensive and in-depth trade cooperation between Pakistan and China.

It may be mentioned here that more than 2,800 companies from 130 countries and regions, and 160,000 buyers from over 80,000 Chinese and foreign companies are participating in the expo.

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CPEC is a gateway to prosperity, Pakistan committed for its timely implementation: NA Speaker

ISLAMABADSpeaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has said the friendship between Pakistan and China is based on mutual respect, trust, strong strategic partnership and economic cooperation.

The speaker stated this in a meeting with a 15-member delegation of the National People’s Congress of China (NPC) led by Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC Zhang Chunxian.

“The everlasting friendship between the two neighbours has proved to be true in every test,” said Qaiser, adding that this bond could be further strengthened by promoting contacts between the parliaments of the two countries.

He said the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China yielded great results, and hoped that the agreements signed during the visit would be implemented.

“Creation of industrial zones and transfer of technology by China will create new employment opportunities and raise the standard of living of people,” he said.

Talking about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the project would prove to be a gateway to prosperity and progress of the region, adding that Pakistan was committed to a speedy completion of the economic corridor.

“China in a relatively short period of time has risen to a prominent place in the world, and Pakistan hopes to benefit from its expertise in the fields of technology and economics,” said Qaiser, adding reciprocal opportunities should be available for mutual trade between the two nations.

Meanwhile, head of the Chinese delegation Chunxian congratulated the NA speaker on behalf of the Chinese parliament on assuming the office.

“China attaches high importance to its relations with Pakistan and considers it a major strategic partner,” Chunxian said.

“Leadership of both sides is committed to raising this mutual relationship to new heights,” he said, adding that contacts between the two parliaments would benefit both the countries and bring the nations closer.

Furthermore, the delegation told Qaiser that PM Imran’s recent visit to China was very successful during which several agreements were signed, and fruits of the visit would reach the people of the two countries.

“China wants to see a prosperous and developed Pakistan and will continue all possible cooperation for its economic and social progress,” said Chunxian.

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Pakistan extends an invitation to Turkey to invest in CPEC

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has invited Turkey to join the multi-billion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, according to Radio Pakistan.

Talking to Ambassador of Turkey Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser said that both the brotherly Muslims countries have always stood together in times of need.

“Pakistan and Turkey are tied in bonds of common religion, culture and history. Pakistan highly values its relations with Turkey, and the new government desires to further strengthen relations between Islamabad and Ankara,” Qaiser added.

He further stressed upon the fact that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be beneficial for all the countries of the region.

CPEC, a $64 billion mega project signed in 2014, aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

The economic corridor will not only provide China with cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East but will also earn Pakistan billions of dollars for providing transit facilities to the world’s second-largest economy.

Ambassador of Turkey Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, during the meeting at Parliament House in Islamabad, said that his country is committed to further strengthening existing relations between the two countries.

“The Turkish people always consider Pakistan as their second home, and we wish to see this country always strong and prosperous,” Yurdakul said.

The top Turkish envoy also extended invitation to Asad Qaiser to attend 2nd League of Parliamentarian Conference for Al-Quds which will be held on 14th of next month in Istanbul.

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China to continue to support Pakistan in economic and social development, terms PM Imran Khan’s visit a success

BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that China will continue to provide assistance and support to Pakistan’s economic and social development in accordance with the needs of the Pakistani side and through mutual agreement.

The ministry announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China is a success and the two sides made remarkable achievements. They issued a joint statement and gave a comprehensive introduction to the specific results of the visit.

According to the Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying, a number of achievements were made during the visit. First, it has deepened the friendship between the leaders of the two countries. This visit is the first official visit to China after Prime Minister Imran Khan took office, fully demonstrating Pakistan’s emphasis on developing relations with China.

Chinese leaders such as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang had friendly exchanges with him and established good relations. The second is to consolidate the special friendly relations between China and Pakistan.

The two sides believe that China-Pakistan relations have experienced the test of time and environmental changes at home and abroad and are constantly moving forward. The two sides agreed to further strengthen China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era to closer the CMB community.

The third is to expand the strategic communication between the two countries. The leaders of the two countries exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern and reached important consensus.

The two sides also agreed to establish a foreign minister’s strategic dialogue mechanism to plan and coordinate bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields. The fourth is to promote pragmatic cooperation and friendly exchanges.

They also agreed to continue to firmly promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and establish a social and livelihood working group to promote the continuous expansion of the corridor.

They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, finance, science and technology, agriculture, humanities, etc., and signed 15 cooperation agreements in related fields. Fifth, it has strengthened coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, and emphasised support for multilateralism, free trade, and win-win cooperation, and promoted lasting peace and common prosperity in the region and the world.

Both China and Pakistan are satisfied with the results of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit and unanimously agreed to continue to work together to implement the consensus reached by the leaders and push China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership to a new level.

To a question, the spokesperson further said at the weekly news briefing, “China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners, and the relationship between the two countries has been running at a high level”.

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Pakistan-China Institute to organize the 4th Trilateral Dialogue between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung will organize the China-Pakistan-Afghanistan 4th Trilateral Dialogue in Islamabad on Monday (November 12, 2018).

As per the programme, the Chairman PCI and the Chairman Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed will make the inaugural speech followed by the key note speeches by the Acting Ambassador of Afghanistan H.E. Zardasht Shams and the Ambassador of China H.E. Yao Jing.

Later the panel discussion will be held featuring topics including ‘Economics, Geopolitics, and Cultural Connectivity through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), ‘The BRI/CPEC and potential for cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan’, ‘Regional Connectivity through the Cultural Corridor’, and ‘The Way Forward’.

Member of the Afghan Parliament Mr. Mirwais Yasini; Chief Economist, China Centre for International Economic Exchanges Mr. Chen Wenling; Deputy Chief of Mission, Chinese Embassy Islamabad Mr. Lijian Zhao; Historian & Journalist, Expert on Allama Iqbal Dr. Mohammad Halim Tanvir; former Senator Afrasiab Khattak; and Scholar Tsinghua Univ

ersity Professor Li Xiguang will take part in the panel discussion.

The Executive Director PCI Mustafa Hyder Sayed will make the Concluding Remarks.

In the end, souvenirs will also be distributed to all participants.

Launched in October 2009, Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) is the first of its kind non-governmental, non-partisan and non-political think-tank. It endeavors to be the principal non-governmental platform to promote people to people ties between Pakistan and China in all areas particularly defense and diplomacy, education and energy, economy and environment, and with a particular focus on youth and women.

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2.11 percent increase in Pakistan’s GDP resulted because of CPEC: Chinese Embassy

ISLAMABAD The Chinese Embassy has said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has played an important role in Pakistan’s economy, power, infrastructure and employment sectors.

According to sources, this came during a briefing by a Chinese envoy to technocrats at the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday. The technocrats were informed that there was an increase of 2.11 per cent in Pakistan Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate following the visit of the Chinese President.

More than 75,000 people were employed in CPEC-related projects. It was also told that 3,240 megawatt supply of electricity had been included in the system under seven CPEC-related projects in the last three years.

The envoy briefed that so far 22 projects worth $19 billion had been started under CPEC. Sharing the details, they were informed that 10 high priority projects had been completed while 12 others would soon be completed.

With regard to Gwadar, projects worth $262 million had been completed that provided employment to 4,860 Pakistanis.

On the occasion, the technocrats were informed that three big projects were being constructed under loans on easy terms provided by the Chinese government. The projects include Havelian-Thakot Karakoram Highway, Lahore-Karachi Motorway and Lahore Orange Line Train.

According to international organisations, 1.2 million Pakistanis would be employed in the country under CPEC, the technocrats were told.

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PM Imran Khan discusses his China trip with COAS

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at PM House office.

General Bajwa and Pm Imran Khan discussed national security and various issues including recent security developments and PM’s China trip.

The meeting held ahead of an important National Security Council meet, convened today to discuss the prevailing law and order situation in the country after the Asia Bibi acquittal in blasphemy case.

This is the first NSC meeting under PM Imran Khan.

The prime minister will also brief the top civil and military brass of his China visit and meetings with Chinese leadership and Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev.

The PM returned to Islamabad last night after a four-day extensive visit of China where he also spoke at the opening ceremony of China International Import Expo as the keynote speaker.

Demonstrations broke across country after the Supreme Court freed Asia Bibi from blasphemy charges paralysing the major cities.

Later, the government cut a deal with Tehreek-e-Labbaik to end the protests.

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CPEC passenger bus embarks for Kashgar as Pakistan-China tourism expands

A Pak-China luxury bus service has embarked on its maiden journey from Lahore to the city of Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

The PTDC and Shuja Express together have launched the luxury bus service. ? Photo courtesy Nauman Liaquat

The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) and Shuja Express together launched the bus service between Pakistan and China to facilitate tourists as part of an initiative to connect both countries via road under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Lahore-Kashgar bus will run four days a week, on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, while the Kashgar-Lahore bus will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The journey will take a total of 36 hours, and the bus will make five stops along the way before it crosses into China at the Khunjerab Pass.

Travellers will require a valid visa and ID card to make the journey.

The one-way fare is Rs13,000, while a round trip will cost Rs23,000, according to Radio Pakistan.

PTDC official Mukhtar Ali told APP on Monday that the bus service would allow visitors, especially monks, to visit sacred Buddhist sites dating back to the Gandhara era.

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Yuan, Rupee to replace US Dollar in trade between Pakistan and China

ISLAMABAD: China has agreed to carry out bilateral trade with Pakistan in the Chinese yuan instead of the U.S. dollar to help ease the South Asian ally’s financial and economic woes.

The unprecedented Chinese concession, officials and economists said, would go a long way in addressing Islamabad’s massive 87-percent trade deficit with Beijing and reducing pressure on Pakistan’s depleting foreign currency reserves.

“The agreement is part of practical steps being taken [by China] to support our [foreign] currency [reserves],” said Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

He told reporters in Islamabad the “historic” deal was concluded along with more than a dozen others during Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s four-day official visit to Beijing, which ended Monday.

The annual trade volume between the two countries is about $15 billion, of which Chinese exports to Pakistan are estimated at around $13 billion.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have lately fallen to less than $8 billion and the country urgently needs about $12 billion to service foreign debts and pay for imports.

The central State Bank of Pakistan has already declared Yuan as an approved foreign exchange for all purposes in the country.

Information Minister Chaudhry said the Chinese government separately has also offered an economic package to Pakistan, and its details will be announced Tuesday when Khan’s delegation returns home.

Reports said the proposed package includes $3 billion in Chinese grants and loans, while another $3 billion will be given for investment under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure building project, a centerpiece of Beijing’s global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The Chinese financial relief is being negotiated amid U.S.-led criticism and skepticism that unfair loans under CPEC are contributing to Pakistan’s balance of payments crisis.

China and Pakistan reject the criticism as baseless and part of propaganda against both CPEC andBRI.

Khan’s nascent government last month secured a financial package of more than $6 billion from Pakistan’s staunch ally Saudi Arabia. Under the deal, Saudis will lend $3 billion and would allow Islamabad to import oil worth more than $3 billion on deferred payments over the next three years.

Officials say the United Arab Emirates is also considering economic relief to Pakistan similar to what Saudi Arabia has pledged.

Prime Minister Khan has said the funds being secured from the three friendly countries will enable Pakistan not to seek a major bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to meet the country’s immediately liabilities.

An IMF team is due to arrive in Islamabad later this week to open formal talks with the Pakistani government on the subject.

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