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Pakistan and China aim to bring economic and trade relations at par with their political relations

   People's Daily Online   09:21, May 22, 2020

Editor’s note:

Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1951, China and Pakistan have enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship. 2020 marks the 69th anniversary of the two nations’ establishment of diplomatic relations, while bilateral relations have also solidified since the COVID-19 outbreak. In an interview with People’s daily Online, Pakistani Ambassador to China, Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, shared her view on the two nations’ future bilateral relations. Below is a script of the ambassador’s remarks.

Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, Pakistani ambassador to China

Pakistan and China are “All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners” and “Iron Brothers,” most reliable partners and closest neighbors, as both countries enjoy wide-ranging engagements in political, economic and cultural spheres. Our bilateral ties are based on convergence of interests and are rooted in common experiences of the past, cultural affinity, mutual trust and understanding.

Both countries have deepened their all-weather cooperation in recent years and expanded bilateral ties in diverse fields of cooperation for mutual benefit. Prime Minister Imran Khan has demonstrated his total commitment to further deepening bilateral ties with China amply manifested in the three visits he paid in less than two years. President Arif Alvi also visited China in March this year to express solidarity with the Chinese people in their war against COVID-19 pandemic.

Both countries are now trying to bring their economic and trade relations at par with their political relations. In the past, both countries have concluded agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, infrastructure, industrial cooperation and cultural cooperation, devising various mechanisms for their implementation. I am satisfied to note that our cooperation has yielded positive results with mutual benefits. Thanks to our bilateral cooperation, Pakistan has succeeded in laying a robust and solid infrastructure network to support its growing economy and overcome festering energy shortages which stifled our growth.

Both countries now look forward to build upon these gains, extending them to other unexplored territories and working together on an array of projects for the socio-economic uplift of the people of Pakistan. The successful conclusion of Phase-II of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPEC) has opened a new window to spur our bilateral trade.

We are also determined to timely complete all ongoing CPEC projects and make it a high quality development project of the Belt and Road Initiative. The leadership of the two countries have forged the consensus that Phase-II of CPEC would focus on poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, agriculture and the industrial development in Pakistan. We are devising policies to attract Chinese entrepreneurs for investment in above areas for a robust, inclusive and sustainable growth. We are also hopeful to make a positive headway in building Main Line-I railway project, which carries immense significance for Pakistan.

I am confident that with the strategic vision and guidance of leadership of our two countries; toil and labor of our respective departments, and the support of our people, all our ideas and expectations for further development of all-weather bilateral ties would be materialized.