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China eager to increase trade with Pakistan

China has been Pakistan’s largest trading partner for many years in a row and Pakistan’s exports to China are also on a rapid rise. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said Beijing was ready to enhance trade and economic cooperation with Islamabad.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Zhao Lijan Thursday welcomed Pakistan’s record exports to China and said that Beijing was ready to enhance trade and economic cooperation with Islamabad and support more exports of Pakistani special goods.

“We welcome the news of record exports from Pakistan to China,” he said during his regular briefing in response to a question regarding US$3.59 billion export from Pakistan to China during the year 2021.

The spokesperson said that China has been Pakistan’s largest trading partner for many years in a row and Pakistan’s exports to China are also on rapid rise. “The two sides signed a protocol on the Phase-II of the Free Trade Agreement in 2019. Since the protocol came into effect, it has been effectively implemented and promoted the export of Pakistani goods to China,” he added.

Zhao Lijian said that China and Pakistan are all weather strategic cooperative partners and ironclad brothers.

Read more: Textile exports surprise everyone

“We stand ready to enhance trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan and support more exports of Pakistani special goods so as to promote the high quality development of our trade cooperation and bring more benefits to both peoples,” he added.

According to official data from the General Administration of Customs of China, Pakistan export to China was increased by 68.9% in 2021 and crossed the historical figure of $3.58 billion while the total import and export between the two countries stood at $27.82 billion.

Pakistan’s export to China crossed $365.35 million in December 2021, up 17 percent, while in the same period of the previous year, it was $312.33 million, which is the second-highest figure of the year.

Pakistan’s exports made the highest gain in November 2021 when its export volume to China was $379.17 million. Last year, the highest value was in December 2020 when its export volume was $312.33 million.

Overall, from January to December 2021, China’s imports from Pakistan totalled $3.58 billion irrespective of COVID-19, while in the same period of last year it was $2.12 billion.

This year China’s export to Pakistan was increased by 57.8% to $24.23 billion, while last year it was $15.36 billion and in 2019 it was $16.17 billion.

In his tweet, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Ron said, during the last year, the bilateral trade between China and Pakistan bucked the trend of decline in the global trade in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the export from Pakistan to China soared to US$ 3.59, registered a year-on-year increase of 68.9%.

As per economic experts, the recent upward trend in exports to China is encouraging for both the countries governments and enterprises.

Read more: China exports surge in 2021 as global demand picks up

Factors contributing to export growth

Multiple factors have contributed to this remarkable rise. Under the first phase of the FTA, Pakistan had been already enjoying zero duties on exports of over 700 products to China. While the second phase of the pact allowed Pakistan to export 313 new items to the Chinese market on zero duty.

In addition, the construction of special economic zones has also helped Pakistan export goods to other countries including China.

Shan Saeed, Chief Economist at Juwai IQI told media that trade between the two countries has made significant progress as both export and import volumes are on the rise. This is a testament of Chin’s commitment to BRI projects with CPEC under the limelight.

The trade and commerce volumes signify that China wants to provide unconditional support and import more from Pakistan in order to uplift the economy of Pakistan.

Shan described that China will continue to support Pakistan for a very long time to come and Pakistan values Chinese unconditional support.

Read more: Securing Pakistan’s economic future with digital exports

It is worth mentioning that among the major products traded between the two countries, electronics, textiles, seafood, and agricultural products have been increased year-on-year, which has promoted Pakistan’s economic recovery.

Courtesy: APP