Pakistan and China to launch new five-year development plan

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Pakistan and China have agreed to launch a new five-year development plan (FYDP) and approve proposals for 36 projects worth $13.3 billion in different areas in order to give a boost to economic cooperation.

The Pak-China Joint Committee on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation held its 14th session here on Thursday under joint chairmanship of Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh and China International Trade Representative, Ministry of Commerce, Gao Hucheng.

The committee agreed on proposals for projects related to development in fields like industry, water, energy, agriculture, fisheries and communications.

The two countries also agreed to work on increasing exports from Pakistan to China by utilising tariff concessions under the Free Trade Agreement, Shaikh and Hucheng said while addressing a press conference after the meeting.

Shaikh said Beijing would also send purchase missions to Pakistan for booking orders for exports and facilitate Pakistani exporters in visiting China and participating in trade fairs to explore markets for their products. China would also help build capacity of Pakistani exporters.

The committee agreed to enhance Chinese investment in different sectors such as agriculture, power, mining and infrastructure, he added.

Shaikh said bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $6.2 billion and the volume has been increasing by 30 per cent every year.

He praised the swift response of the Chinese government to the floods and its contribution to relief activities. China also announced a $250 million grant for the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by the floods.

Hucheng said although trade between the two countries was in favour of China, efforts would be made to encourage balanced trade by enhancing Pakistani exports to China.

The committee, according to its mandate, reaffirmed strong support for advancing cooperation between the two countries in trade, economic, scientific and technical sectors.

The meeting also reviewed ongoing five-year development plan and noted that a large number of mega projects of strategic importance have been completed under the programme.

By Ahsan Waheed

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November 2015
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