November 27, 2020: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday invited businessmen from China and ASEAN countries to come and invest in the special economic zones being setup in Pakistan.
“We encourage ASEAN countries as well as Chinese businessmen, to invest in the special economic zones in Pakistan”, he said while addressing through video message at the opening ceremony of 17th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) opened at Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
He said Pakistan's macroeconomic policies have changed tremendously and there is a greater ease of doing business in Pakistan despite COVID-19 challenge.
“We have handled COVID pandemic well also. And the far reaching economic and trade reforms and macroeconomic policies have provided good results in online business”.
“Pakistan has a sectoral dialogue partnership with ASEAN. Our partnership, progress and our cooperation are increasing”, he added.
Dr Alvi said that Pakistan, China and ASEAN countries are very reliable, friends.
“Pakistan wants to do a feasibility where Pakistan, China and ASEAN triangle can come up, as well as feasibility into Pakistan and ASEAN FTA”, he mentioned.
Pakistan wants to export more textile goods, food products, surgical instruments, meat, vegetables to China and to ASEAN countries. “We are upgrading the agriculture sector and Pakistan is making great progress in energy and infrastructure and has moved on from agriculture to industry and the socioeconomic reforms”.
While mentioning about his previous visit to China in March this year Dr Alvi said that he met President Xi, Premier Li Keqian and other Chinese leadership to express solidarity with China in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was very confident that China as a disciplined nation will be able to overcome this disease”, he added.
He said that this CAEXPO was a symbolic situation where it was showing that beyond COVID, China has provided leadership in trade to the world.
He further said that China has recently signed the world's largest trade agreement which is a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, with the number of countries and it has shown leadership to the world that it is a reliable trading partner and an economic hub.
About Pak-China all weather strategic cooperative partnership, he said it was very deep friendship deeper than the oceans and as high as the sky. And both the countries are trusted friends with each other.
In addition, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has done wonders in bringing Pakistan as an economic and strategic hub where goods from China, to the world and from Pakistan towards China could be sent and this will also link up with the Central Asian countries.
Pakistan and China have signed the second phase of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which has come into effect since January 2020.
Earlier Chinese President Xi Jingping and head of the ASEAN countries addressed the opening session of the three-day CAEXPO
This year's theme of the CAEXPO is “Building the Belt and Road, strengthening digital economy cooperation”.
The CAEXPO aims to deepen cooperation in trade, technology, digital economy, science and, health and other fields. With a planned exhibition area of 104,000 square meters, this year's event will set up 5,400 booths.
More than 1,500 enterprises from home and abroad will participate virtually in the four-day event.
The international exhibition area has 229 booths for participants from 22 countries, including Pakistan, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, India, Iran, France, Italy, and Russia.
The CAEXPO will also host 11 high-level forums and more than 160 economic and trade promotion activities. Initiated in 2004, the annual expo is an important platform for promoting trade and bilateral relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).