Connect with us

Asia

China-Pakistan looking to further enrich business ties 

Published

on

PM’s visit to China successful

BEIJING: China and Pakistan are looking to further enrich their business ties in areas, including multimodal goods transport, high-end manufacturing, renewable energy sources and other service sectors under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Both the economies have deployed a large number of resources into regional connectivity, manufacturing, and modern agriculture, and they are strong supporters of the multilateral trade system and investment growth, said Sun Xiao, director-general of the multilateral cooperation department of the Beijing-headquartered China Chamber of International Commerce, according to China Daily on Monday.
“They have been defending openness as a means of progress, job creation and global economic recovery since 2008,” he said.
Trade between China and Pakistan amounted to $13.2 billion in 2017, accounting for 16.4 percent of Pakistan’s total foreign trade, according to the data from the China Council for the Promotion of International Tradeshow.
China mainly exports raw materials, computers, telecommunication equipment, trucks, chemicals, medical equipment, plastic and rubber products, textiles and household appliances to Pakistan.
While Pakistan’s shipments to China include minerals, cement, optical and medical equipment and accessories, garments and agricultural products.
China will promote cooperation between the customs and quarantine authorities of both countries to facilitate the further opening-up of its agricultural product market to Pakistan, said Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan.
“China will, under the framework of free trade cooperation between the two countries, provide a larger market share for Pakistani goods, and strengthen cooperation and facilitate trade between China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region,” Yao added. “The country also will take further visa facilitation measures to encourage more Pakistani businesspeople to visit China.”
Eager to further enhance their business ties, a new rail and road cargo service was launched in late October, linking Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, with Islamabad in Pakistan.
Trains transport goods from Lanzhou to Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and they are then transported to Islamabad by the highway. The 4,500-kilometer trip takes 13 days, about 15 days less than the traditional maritime route.
China and Pakistan also launched a direct rail and sea freight service between Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, and Karachi in 2016. Each trip can transport up to 500 metric tons of consumer goods and commodities.
Pakistan remains China’s biggest destination for outbound direct investment in South Asia.
Experts said Pakistan has become a destination with growing attraction for Chinese companies because of the opportunities it offers as a convenient marketplace to the Middle East and Africa, as well as a developing platform for many countries and regions to boost the growth of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Ministry of Commerce said that Chinese companies such as Power Construction Corp of China and China Unicom had invested $5.71 billion in the neighboring country by the end of 2017, mainly in energy and infrastructure development, telecommunication, manufacturing, and financial services.
China will firmly promote industrial cooperation, expand its direct investment in Pakistan, and encourage Chinese companies to actively participate in the development of special economic zones, said Wang Dongtang, deputy director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Commerce.
“The focus of the cooperation will be to upgrade Pakistan’s manufacturing capacity and expand its export-oriented industries,” he said.
Zhu Feng, dean of the Institute of International Relations of Nanjing University, said Pakistan has been an enthusiastic supporter of the initiative since its initial participation.
The country aims to act as a regional trading hub between partner countries and regions committed to the initiative. For Pakistani companies, the initiative also offers a lucrative economic opportunity.
“Moreover, the initiative will expand export markets for Pakistani companies and offer opportunities to bid on construction projects in many parts of global markets,” said Sang Baichuan, a professor of international trade at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Asia

PM expresses grief over the loss of lives in Kabul blast

Published

on

'Few signs of progress' in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday expressed his grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in a blast in Kabul, targeting a religious gathering.
He strongly condemned the cowardly act of terrorism and said being the biggest victims of terrorism; he could feel the pain of their Afghan brethren who continued to pay the price of war that was brought to their region.
“Our people and the two countries have paid the heaviest toll, both in terms of human lives as well as material losses, but we stand firm and unshaken,” the PM Office Media Wing in a press release quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
The prime minister also condoled with the bereaved families, saying “Our heart goes out to the bereaved families at this hour of grief.”

 

Continue Reading

Asia

Bangladesh photographer freed

Published

on

DHAKA: Award-winning Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam was released from prison Tuesday after more than 100 days behind bars, in a closely watched freedom of speech case.
The 63-year-old Alam was arrested on 5th August for making “false” and “provocative” statements on Al Jazeera television and Facebook during student protests.
He was freed from Dhaka’s main jail Tuesday after being granted bail last week, his wife Rahnuma Ahmad told the Media. 
“He is now heading home,” she said.
He was being held under controversial internet laws which critics say have been wielded by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to stifle dissent and harass journalists.
Alam spoke briefly to reporters after he came out of prison to describe conditions inside the jail, Alam’s close associate Rezaur Rahman told the Media.
The photographer had previously said he was badly beaten while in custody.
Although Alam was granted bail for his release on Thursday last week, he had to wait another five days to be set free as the prosecution moved to appeal against the bail order.
He had earlier applied unsuccessfully for bail four times.
Alam, whose work has appeared widely in global media and who founded the renowned Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, faces a maximum 14 years in jail if convicted.
His lawyers have argued Alam’s continued detention was “a clear violation” of his fundamental rights under Bangladesh’s constitution.
The photographer’s arrest triggered international protests – with rights groups, Nobel laureates and academics calling for his release – and came after a series of mass rallies this summer after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.
The massive rallies evolved into broader demonstrations against Hasina, who will seek a third consecutive term next month, and her Awami League party.
Alam told Al Jazeera at the time that the protests were the result of pent-up anger at corruption and an “unelected government… clinging on by brute force”.
He was arrested the same day, with many other protesters held on similar charges as authorities cracked down on demonstrators.
Human Rights Watch accused Bangladesh of targeting activists and journalists in the wake of the protests instead of prosecuting those who attacked students with fists and rods.
Michelle Bachelet used her first statement as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to raise the issue of attacks on journalists in Bangladesh.
In recent weeks, Hasina has been accused of stifling dissent further by ratifying a controversial new digital-security law.
And a prominent critic of the government was arrested for defamation last month, days after he helped form an opposition coalition.

Continue Reading

Asia

Imran Khan reaches Kuala Lumpur

Published

on

KUALA LUMPUR: Imran Khan reached here today on a two-day official visit of Malaysia. It would be the first state visit by any foreign leader since Dr. Mahathir Mohamad assumed office in May.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

Imran Khan leaves for Kuala Lumpur

Continue Reading

News Pakistan Trending