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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishment of Economic and Trade Cooperation Working Group within the framework of Pakistan-China Joint Committee on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

The pact has been signed by Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Ren Hongbin and Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Secretary Economic Affairs Division.

According to the pact, Pakistan and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China will develop mutually beneficial and win-win economic and trade relations, and achieve sustained and healthy development of economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and China, with the Ministry of Economic Affairs reaching a consensus on the Working Group.

The main responsibilities of the Working Group include: implementing consensus related to Xinjiang reached during the Pakistan-China Joint Economic Council (JEC) and enhancing the cooperation between Pakistan and Xinjiang in trade, investment, transportation, energy, logistics, finance, information, agriculture, tourism, etc. and promoting progress in cooperation in relevant fields.

Pakistan’s trading partners

The Working Group will provide suggestions on deepening the economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and Xinjiang, discussing measures of expanding and facilitating trade, optimizing trade structure, advancing mutual investment, economic and technological cooperation, improving the investment environment and so on. It will suggest ways and means to solve the problems and difficulties in cooperation between Pakistan and Xinjiang through consultation, submitting the problems and difficulties to the Pakistan-China JEC for resolution if necessary and exchanging information on the development of economic and trade cooperation, and providing information on economic and trade policies and regulations regularly. The Working Group will facilitate communication of people engaged in economic and trade activities, in order to create favourable conditions for the expansion of economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and Xinjiang.

The Working Group is working under direction of Pakistan-China JEC, and is led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs Pakistan and Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China respectively. The Working Group meeting shall be co-chaired by Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Pakistan and Vice Governor of Xinjiang. The Working Group shall report to the Pakistan-China JEC regularly.

The Pakistani liaison office is set in the China Wing of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Chinese liaison office of the Working Group is set in the Department of Commerce of Xinjiang.

The liaison offices are mainly responsible for preparing the working group meetings, collecting topics, drafting meeting minutes and so on. The liaison offices shall maintain contact with each other and perform their duties. Additional departments can be invited to participate in the working group meetings according to topics of specific meeting.

The Working Group meetings will be held once a year in turn in Pakistan and Xinjiang in principle. The specific time and place of the meeting shall be determined through negotiations between both sides of the Working Group. Travel expenses for participating in working group meetings shall be borne respectively. The organizer bears the expenses related to the organization of meetings. The MoU may be amended or modified through mutual written consent of the parties. The amendment or modification shall enter into force on such date as determined by the parties.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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