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ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on Thursday, inaugurated the issuance of commemorative coin of Rs70 on the occasion of 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong, and Governor SBP Dr Reza Baqir, besides other senior government officers.

Addressing the ceremony, Qureshi said the coin’s denomination had been kept at 70 rupees which was an apt reflection of the 70 years of “our all-weather, time-tested and brotherly relationship.”

He said Pakistan had robust engagement with China in economic and financial sectors.

He added the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), signed during the prime minister’s visit to Beijing in 2019, has been operationalised since January 1, 2020.

The second phase of the FTA had the potential to enhance Pakistan’s exports to China, he added.

To facilitate financial transactions and arrangements, he added that Pakistan also had Currency Swap Agreement with China.

“We have robust cooperation in banking sectors as well; Pakistani commercial banks have started operations in China. State Bank of Pakistan, as the regulator of the monetary and credit system of Pakistan, has a pivotal role in further deepening this relationship,” he added.

Qureshi said the Pakistan-China relationship was unique in the world, adding that “our historic ties stretch over the span of millennia.”

Historically, academics, monks, travellers, and traders frequently traversed the stretches of Trans-Karakorum tracts and laid the foundation of this fraternal bond.

Over the last seven decades, he added that that time-tested relationship had flourished from strength to strength, unaffected by the vicissitudes of time and changes in the regional and global environment.

Unrelenting efforts of the successive generations of people and the leadership of Pakistan and China had transformed that relationship into an “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership”, he added.

He said Pakistan and China steadfastly supported each other on the issues of core interest, adding Pakistan adhered to “One-China” policy and supported China on issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong, South China Sea, Taiwan, and Tibet.

“China has stood by Pakistan in supporting our key strategic, economic and developmental priorities. Maintaining its principled stance, China has unwaveringly supported Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he added.

Qureshi said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) brought that relationship to new heights.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021