Most of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have been finished, according to the Chinese Consul General in Karachi Li Bijian.
The senior diplomat during his visit to the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), the senior diplomat said that Pakistan-China ties were not limited to CPEC, even though it was playing a key role in regional development.
He said, “Majority of CPEC projects have been completed, with Gwadar becoming the most important in the region. CPEC is an important part of Pakistan-China friendship, but the relationship between the two countries and with the business community is much deeper than that”.
Bijian expressed concern over the situation of the country’s low-income class and noted that efforts were underway to get Pakistan out of the economic difficulties.
KATI President Salman Aslam maintained that China is a friendly neighbor to Pakistan and both countries share a strong bond. He added, “CPEC projects are important for the economy of both countries”.
The Chinese diplomat explained to KATI officials that China has made investments in various projects, including an airport, a training center, and Gwadar Port. He expressed joy that the power crisis of Pakistan has been alleviated owing to CPEC.
He announced, “Development work on Gwadar Airport is 90% completed, and by 2023, the airport will start its operations”.
Bijian stressed that a hospital was also under construction in Gwadar and it is expected to be operational next year.
He highlighted that there were ample trade opportunities in China for Pakistani industrialists and investors.
He noted, “China has a population of 500 million middle class, which could be a big market for Pakistan. Pakistan can export fruits and vegetables to China, while China has a large seafood market, including rice and fish, from which Pakistani exporters could take full advantage”.
In addition, he said cooperation between the two countries in the field of information technology (IT) and electric vehicles could be enhanced further.
Bijian proposed that the two countries could work out a strategy to increase Pakistan’s export volume through trade, urging Pakistani industrialists to take advantage of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
The KATI president noted they would brief the Chinese Consulate on his proposals for increasing exports.
KATI’s former president Danish Khan also maintained that Chinese investors should set up industries in Pakistan and called for holding joint trade fairs to promote Pakistani products.