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Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad Mr. Yao Jing called on Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Mr. Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan in Islamabad.
Pakistan and China are traditional friends and engaged in cooperation in almost all important sectors of economy. Both countries are members of various organizations and especially being member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Pakistan has endorsed agreement on cooperation in agriculture between the governments of the all member states of the organization, including China. Although China produces food for 20% of the world’s population but it also imports huge quantity of food for its own population. China has become biggest exporter of the world, yet imports food from other nations. CPEC opened up new venues of cooperation between two friendly neighbors.
While Pakistan is passing through one of the most difficult era of economy, where foreign debt has raised upto US $ 95 billion and export has fallen down. Foreign Remittances, a major sourced of Pakistan’s foreign exchange earnings, has witnessed downward trend. Pakistan badly needed to enhance its exports to meet the requirement of imports and foreign debt services.
Pakistan is basically an agriculture economy and possess a huge potential of export of Agri-produce.
The Pakistani Minister said that China is the 4th largest export market of Pakistan. It is heartening that both countries have signed free trade agreement (FTA) which has facilitated to expand bilateral trade. He further said that the Honorable Prime Minister’s visit in the first week of November, 2018 was very important as both sides signed (MoU) also on agriculture cooperation has also been signed on the same occasion followed by Chinese delegation’s visit to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
Federal Minister Mehboob Sultan said that we are moving ahead to collaborate in achieving FMD free zone and a memorandum of requirements for the establishment of FMD free zone is currently negotiated by both sides. He added that we believe in ease of doing business and if we collaborate for the elimination of FMD it will boost our meat export to China.
Federal Minister said that we could identify and start working on areas of mutual benefit in the field of agriculture before the Belt and Road Conference in April 27th, 2019 in China. He added that we would welcome the experts in cotton, rice, cage culture fisheries and citrus to Pakistan, we are open to learn from those experts as our ultimate goal is to move towards food security, zero hunger and ultimately poverty alleviation.
Federal Minister said that it is highly commendable that fully funded courses for capacity building of Agro Scientists, researchers are arranged in China which will immensely benefit our research institutions for we shall replicate those useful agro technologies which would bring us closer to achieving the food security.
Minister Mehboob Sultan said that it is a great relief that both sides have actively tracked the cooperation/commitment during the 8th Session of Joint Co-ordination Committee meeting held in China in December last year and Secretary?Dr. Muhammad Hashim Popalzai is also the member of JCC.
On the request of Ministry of National Food Security and Research, it was agreed that China would urgently initiate the process of potato export to China after fulfilling the SPS requirements. It was agreed that a delegation of experts would soon visit Pakistan to finalize the arrangements.
The Minister stated that we are looking forward to the implementation of MoU signed during the visit of the Honorable Prime Minister and to discuss matters of mutual benefits in first meeting of the Joint Working Group meeting (JWG) going to be held in February this year in Pakistan.
Federal Minister expressed his pleasure and satisfaction that bilateral relations are growing in right direction and will be in mutual interest of both the countries and cooperation in the area of agriculture which is life line of our economy is most desirable.
It is expected, the cooperation between the two countries will visibly enhance in the coming days. Chinese and Pakistani Entrepreneurs may avail this opportunity and contribute to benefit the two nations.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomate), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.nike silicone wristbandsmake rubber braceletsblack rubber bracelets meaningprint wristbands freemake festival wristbands