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Print Print 2023-12-10

Govt seeks to cure Sino-Pak trade imbalance

  • Beijing has earned $100 billion from Pakistan through its exports whereas it imported Pakistani goods of only $10 billion
Published December 10, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker Minister for Commerce and Industries and Production, Gohar Ijaz is reaching China on Sunday (today) to find new buyers, explore prospects of relocation of the Chinese textile industry to Pakistan as Beijing has earned $100 billion from Pakistan through its exports whereas it imported Pakistani goods of only $10 billion during this period.

A high-profile business delegation is also accompanying him. The visit is a follow-up to the visit of the caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar in October this year. He will start meetings from Monday (tomorrow).

The perception is that Pakistan did not negotiate Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China due to which the former did not succeed in boosting its exports. Under-invoicing and discrepancy in trade data are also key issues between the two countries.

Pakistan govt disallows sugar export till season-end assessment: Dr Gohar Ejaz

“China’s imports to Pakistan are $20 billion per annum whereas Pakistan’s exports are just $ 2 billion per annum,” he said. The statistics show that China earned $ 100 billion from Pakistan through its exports during the last five years whereas Pakistan earned only $ 10 billion during this period.

The sectors covered in the delegation’s visit include agricultural, electric vehicles, marble, cement, fertiliser, fruit, vegetable, home appliances, glass, chemicals and textiles.

This multi-segmental delegation representing the business sector of Pakistan will hold meetings with their counterparts in China for trade and investment and formation of joint ventures. On the sidelines of the official visit, B2B meetings have been arranged for the members of the delegation, apart from the main meetings.

In Beijing, the meetings are scheduled to be held with the officials of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, various product Associations, and China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export.

The Minister will also meet with the CEO of the COFCO Group (which is a state-owned food processing holding company and China’s largest food processor, manufacturer and trader and Asia’s leading agribusinesses group).

A delegation from the Weifang Steel Group would also call on the Minister. The company specialises in agri-tech, food processing, fertilizers and edible oil. The delegation would also visit Zhongguancun which is a major technology hub near Beijing and is also known as China’s Silicon Valley.

“If ten percent of Chinese industry is shifted to Pakistan, our exports can grow by $50 billion per annum. This is my target,” he said, while talking to Business Recorder.

Gohar said that he is also taking people from agriculture sector and if he succeeds in a breakthrough with Chinese COFCO, agriculture exports will jump to $25 billion from existing level of $ 5 billion.

He is also taking people from other manufacturing goods sectors to interact with their Chinese counterparts with an aim to increase exports.

“I can find ways to generate $ 100 billion exports only with China,” he said, adding that after China’s visit he would take a delegation to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States of America,” the Minister continued.

The Minister would also meet the management of Chengdu Century Intending Investment Management (CENTINCO) which is a comprehensive industrial investment management corporation. CENTINCO has shown an interest in development of an Export Processing Zone in Gwadar.

The Minister will also attend a Business Networking Dinner which is likely to be attended by more than a hundred Chinese enterprises. This would be followed by his online participation in a Ministerial Conference of WTO on special invitation of the UAE Commerce Minister.

In a first, the delegation will also visit Suzhou City, which is situated close to Shanghai in Jiangsu province, and is a leading commercial and industrial hub of East China.

This 3-day visit is a first by any Commerce Minister of Pakistan and any delegation from Pakistan. He will be received by the Officials of the City Government. This is a part of Ministry of Commerce’s strategy to engage at provincial level with major Chinese manufacturing hubs. Suzhou has a GDP of more than $ 300 billion. The imports of the city are $ 153 billion while exports are $ 230 billion. It has several enterprises which are looking to relocate to other countries.

Apart from the meetings, the delegation would visit the Changshu GarmentsTown at Suzhou. Gohar Ejaz would also take part in the unveiling of the Changshu ‘One Belt and One Road’ Centre.

Speaking to media before leaving, Minister Ejaz highlighted the importance of private sector collaboration as the next step in strengthening the Pak-China relationship. “SMEs are the key to Pakistan’s prosperity and progress” said the caretaker Minister.

He emphasided the need to develop and operate Special Economic Zones and reiterated the importance of Gwadar Port. He said that he would also brief the Chinese investors about the crucial role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in streamlining their investments. “Pakistan will be the most successful economic power of the Islamic world,” he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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Nadeem Zaman Dec 10, 2023 06:35am
Every Pakistani wish to our country take off now instead of starting from beginning every few years. Let’s forget all damn politics and have one agenda to make Pakistan a welfare state instead of a beggar state
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Saeed Dec 10, 2023 09:19am
The train has gone the industry that needed to relocate relocated to Vietnam
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Usman Dec 10, 2023 10:29am
@Nadeem Zaman, for that like Imran is in nail we need to put more politicians in jail so we can continue to have peace.
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Mohid Zahid Dec 10, 2023 12:23pm
China has set NBFTs even on our Exports , whenever we export something to china they delay as much as they can it put it in labs thing is recieved after 100 days on other end. China is practically using Pakistan ,lobying in our senate to give them subsidies and every Exporter knows China is our bigger enemy than India when it comes to economy
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Chawla.i Dec 10, 2023 03:10pm
Sandak project alone can generate 5bil usd a year,if we hv ability to take Chinese seriously and this china tour wa rather incomplete without mining industry full fledged participation Gd luck Imran chawla
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TimetoMoVVeOn Dec 10, 2023 06:55pm
@Mohid Zahid, China has saddled your economy with so much debt that even India would not cause so much damage. They are building one the largest airports in all places gwadar--when there is already an existing one. how exactly is this Gwadar airport gonna generate enough revenues to pay the China loan off.
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Builder Dec 10, 2023 09:46pm
No one else would give us so much loans, so say thanks to China. We need to understand that we have to borrow due to our own financial mismanagement. Just one example, why do we go on feeding white elephant named PIA?
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