Work underway to organize Traders’ Alliance between China, Pakistan: Commercial Counselor

KARACHI: Commercial and Economic Counsellor of the Peoples Republic of China Yang Guangyuan has informed that work was underway for organizing “Traders’ Alliance” between the exporters and importers of China and Pakistan so that they could share information and explore avenues for improving the existing trade cooperation between the two friendly countries.

“More than 20 Chinese traders would like to join this traders’ alliance which is being supported by several provincial governments and it would hopefully be supported by Chinese Ministry of Commerce as well which would prove beneficial for the business communities and the economies of the two countries”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Muhammad Haris Agar, Former President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, KCCI Managing Committee Members and others attended the meeting.

Referring to Dhabeji Special Economic Zones situated near Karachi, Commercial Counselor said that it was an interesting project which has recently been discussed by a think tank and various companies in China at an event organized recently to review how Chinese companies can go for Dhabeji SEZ and what can be established in this Zone.

He said, “Trade and investment cooperation between China and Pakistan should be practical and pragmatic. There is a need to raise awareness about Pakistan amongst Chinese people as most of the business people do not know about the trade and investment opportunities here hence, we have a lot of work to do and I will be seriously focusing on this area.”

He was of the view that in the first phase, the projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were mainly related to Government-to-Government (G2G) but now, it has entered the second phase which will be driven by Business-to-Business (B2B). “With joint efforts, we can certainly have better future for Pakistani and Chinese friends”, he added.

Earlier, President KCCI Tariq Yousuf, while seeking Chinese Consulate’s help in promoting trade, business and economic activities between the two countries, said that it was a matter of grave concerns that Pakistan’s share in China’s overall imports was less than 1 percent. “With such low exports to China, we stand nowhere hence, we need to take concrete and positive steps to enhance our exports to China. We have to capture each other’s markets which are really big in terms of population by developing strong business ties between the two countries”, he added.

He opined that China’s labor has become expensive now whereas Pakistan still offers cheaper labor force hence, the business communities of the two countries must look into the possibility of undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan for manufacturing a wide range of products which can not only be exported but also supplied locally in the Pakistani market.

As China has a very strong infrastructure in the manufacturing sector, President KCCI requested the Commercial Counselor to form some kind of a committee or a club between the business communities of the two friendly countries for creating a win-win situation. “The proposed committee would provide a perfect opportunity to us to learn from Chinese know-how in manufacturing of various products including yarns, plastics, plastic resin and electronic chips etc. We have to do something positive and take practical steps by partnering with each other as there is a tremendous scope for having more business relationships with China”, he said, adding that although the two governments are constantly taking steps to improve relationships but the entrepreneurs must also come forward and collaborate.

“It is my desire to make efforts for improving Pakistan’s exports to China from the existing less than one percent to at least three percent which would be a great achievement but it is only possible through collective efforts”, Tariq Yousuf said, “We want to transform our friendship into a real industrial partnership.”