ISLAMABAD: Sartaj Aziz — the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission (PC) — on Tuesday expressed hope that the trade balance between Pakistan and China is likely to improve considerably and in favour of the former once the revised Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is finalized.
Aziz said cooperation in the agricultural sector would help Pakistan fetch an opportunity to export to China products such as grains, cotton, sugar, fresh vegetables, and fruits.
The PC official was speaking to a delegation of Chinese journalists who called on him here. Aziz said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s gave new dimensions to the Sino-Pak relations.
He said the Chinese vision of One Belt One Road (OBOR) has boosted global connectivity, adding that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — the flagship project of OBOR — is being actively pursued due to the commitment of both countries’ leadership.
The investment value of the CPEC projects’ first phase has reached to more than $30 billion, while overall investment has exceeded $60 billion, he explained, adding that its long-term plan was approved by the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on the CPEC last week — this development could provide new foundations to Sino-Pak relations.
Aziz said the construction of the CPEC routes would bring a new era of development to the country’s less developed areas.
Due to the bilateral industrial cooperation, he added, the Chinese industries are shifting to Pakistan, helping boost business activities in the country.
Aziz commented that the establishment of nine industrial zones under the CPEC would bring industrial progression to the nation and that industrialists — from not only Pakistan and China but from across the world — would be able to establish their industries in these zones.
Aziz noted that the government has formulated a very liberal investment policy to promote foreign direct investment in the country.