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$25bn China trade targeted ...Pak-China Business Cooperation

Pak-China Business Cooperation Summit on  18th
Jiabao to inaugurate China’s biggest bank branch in Pak
ISLAMABAD: Government of Pakistan is hopeful in attracting $25 billion worth of trade from China in the coming years. This was stated in a statement issued by Board of Investment (BoI) here Wednesday. According to the BoI statement, the Pak-China Business Cooperation Summit, scheduled on December 18 would be able to attract $25 billion trade and investment from China.
Premiers of China and Pakistan will preside over the Pak-China Business Cooperation Summit, said statement. Business-to-Business meeting will also be held in Islamabad to discuss the investment opportunities, trade and joint ventures between the two countries, it added.
“As a result of this meeting, BoI is expecting to attract $25 billion trade and investment from China during next five years,” the statement said.
Board of Investment is organising this summit in collaboration with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and China Council for The Promotion of International Trade.

Almost 330 Chinese delegates and 200 representatives of Pakistan from different business sectors are expected to participate in summit, it said adding almost 23 MoUs are expected to be signed during the summit in different sectors.
In B2B meeting, priority sectors for investment from China will include oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, power, telecom, chemicals, textile, engineering goods, textile machinery, automobiles, electronics, automotives, agricultural implements, and agro based industry.
Furthermore, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is going to open a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the top private bank of China during his visit to Pakistan.
The ICBC is the world’s biggest bank by capitalisation. According to an article from a Chinese scholar published here in an English daily ahead of Premier Wen visit to all weather ally, by the end of this year, the trade between China and Pakistan will be worth $7 billion, with an annual growth rate of 29 per cent.
The growth rate of trade between the two countries is expected to grow by over 30 percent over the next five years and the trade volume could increase to $18 billion.
But the level of economic cooperation does not reflect the close and lasting political and military ties between the two countries, writes Li Xiguang, a professor of Tsinghua University, Beijing.
“We are all-weather political allies. Since September 2008, Pakistani President Zardari came to China almost every four month, beating any heads of state in terms of frequency of visiting China,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Masood Khan, “China has a very positive image in Pakistan. We support China’s policy on Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights,” said Khan.
“But we also need to have an all-weather highway between our two countries,” he said.
Two years ago, Chinese and Pakistani engineers and road builders started extending the width of the Karakorum Highway from 10 meters to 30 meters.
Chinese engineers have completed a feasibility study for the building of a railroad and an oil pipeline to link Kashi in Xinjiang and Gwadar in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province at the mouth of Gulf. Sixty per cent of China’s imported oil comes from the Middle East and 80 percent of that transported to China through the Straits of Malacca.
With the construction of the Kashi-Gwadar railroad and oil pipeline, Gwadar, a warm-water and deep-sea port, will handle most of the oil tankers to China.
It will provide China with the shortest possible route to the oil rich Middle East, replacing the dangerous maritime route through the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.
“Through Gwadar, oil will come to China and goods will go to West Asia and the Gulf, bringing China closer to countries such as Turkey and Iran,” Khan said. “The highway will stimulate the economic growth in Pakistan. With the recovery of the legendary Silk Roads through Pakistan, Pakistan will become an economic hub once more.”
“If China joins Pakistan in building its desperately-needed power stations, Pakistani people will feel the warmth and brotherhood every night when they turn on the light in their home,” Khan said. “In the streets of Pakistan, it seems that everyone knows Wen is coming,” said Khan. -Agencies


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