- In return, China is only seeking 60% of Pakistani market; says Amb Yao Jing
ISLAMABAD – Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Monday said that China is ready to give access to Pakistani exporters 90 percent of its market share under the second phase of FTA (Free Trade Agreement).
At a special media briefing on the Second Belt & Road Forum commencing from April 25, Ambassador Yao Jing said that the second phase of FTA would be signed during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing where world leaders would be attending Second Belt and Road Forum from April 25-27.
“Opening of the Chinese markets for Pakistani commodities would largely help boost Pakistani exports to China. In return, we are not seeking 90 percent market share in Pakistan. We are only seeking 60 percent market share in Pakistan in return,” the Ambassador said.
The envoy said that during the upcoming visit to China, Prime Minister Imran Khan would hold meetings with the Chinese leadership to discuss interventions under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) besides regional and international issues.
The envoy said that Premier Khan along with 15 other heads of State and government will attend the Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF).
“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to China will provide an opportunity to both the countries to further explore new vistas of cooperation and both the countries are set to begin the second phase of FTA. There is complete understanding between Pakistan and China that the CPEC is fruitful for both the countries” he added.
Responding to another question whether China was satisfied over CPEC progress, the envoy said that China was satisfied over the progress on CPEC and relations between PTI-led government and China can be judged from the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan is undertaking second visit within five months’ time.
He said that leadership of China, including President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang would also hold bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister Khan to discuss issues beneficial for both the countries.
Ambassador Yao was of the view the event would also provide opportunities to interact with the world leadership. About the upcoming Belt and Road Forum, the envoy said that 12 thematic forums and a CEO conference would be held on April 25, the opening ceremony and a high level meeting on April 26 while the leaders’ roundtable is scheduled on April 27.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would also attend inauguration of international horticultural exhibition along with the other leaders during his visit.
He said that Secretary General of the United Nations and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund will be attending the forum, while senior representatives of France, Germany, Britain Spain, Japan the republic of Korea and the European Union will also participate in the event.
He said that BRI has received strong endorsement and warm support of the international community. So far, a total of 124 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China.
The Ambassador said the second BRF was greatly welcomed worldwide with some 5,000 participants from more than 150 countries and 90 international organizations having confirmed their attendance, covering areas from five continents and different walks of life such as government civil, society business and academia.
He said that the forum would voice the firm support for multilateralism and open world economy, enrich the principles of cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), build a network of partnership and establish more mechanisms for high-quality development. The Ambassador said that at the global level, the BRI is well aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, thus forming a synergy of policies to promote global development.
BRI cooperation crucial for post-Covid economic recovery, says expert
ISLAMABAD: The Belt and Road Initiative is crucial for global economic recovery in the post-pandemic era and building a community with a shared future for mankind by following a path of cooperation, unity and common development, said a political economist.
“Enhanced constructive engagements based on the principle of win-win cooperation is the need of the hour to overcome the challenges posed by the still raging pandemic, and ensure sustainable global economic recovery,” Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, director of the China Study Center at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an Islamabad-based think-tank, told Xinhua in an interview.
He said that China is strongly committed to implementing the BRI for the common good, which is evident from the recently held high-level conference on the Belt and Road cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
“It (conference) shows the strong commitment of China to global cooperation and sustainable recovery and development […] China has assured its support to BRI countries. China is willing to provide market opportunities, investment opportunities and growth opportunities for global recovery,” the expert said.
Terming the BRI a proactive constructive economic cooperation plan, Ramay said that despite the global economic disruptions and worldwide lockdowns, China did not pause the initiative and continue to pour investments into various countries, especially the least developed countries.
China kept on investing in BRI programs when the world was going through a serious economic fallout due to Covid-19, giving the much-needed breathing space to a number of countries, including Pakistan, he said.
He said the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an important pilot project of the BRI, progressed steadily during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the projects also helped generate employments and were a great relief in the hardest of times.
During the pandemic, Pakistan and China have enhanced cooperation in the field of agriculture, science and technology and energy. Also, work on special economic zones under CPEC is in full swing to promote industrialisation in Pakistan and boost the national economy, he said.
The economist said that the BRI has been helping to bridge the worldwide infrastructure investment gap. “The world is facing severe challenges to meet the investment for infrastructure development which can hinder economic growth worldwide […] in the context, the BRI investments are helping countries to bridge that gap.”
Ramay said that China has been trying to create new economic opportunities globally, adding that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signed among its 15 participating countries including China, will provide solid economic growth to the world.
The expert believes that global economic recovery is not possible with the mentality of unilateralism or the “ourselves first” approach as being adopted by some developed countries.
“Rich countries should assist poor countries in containing the pandemic by timely providing vaccine, pooling the resources and working on deeper integration, which will also be ultimately favourable for the developed world through the creation of a market for their products,” Ramay said.
He said that Covid-19 vaccines should be declared as a global public good to fight against the common enemy, and China has been working determinedly in this direction.
“China has donated vaccines to many countries, and it is supplying vaccines at the concessional rates as it is the best instrument against the deadly virus […] vaccinated people can come back to their jobs and play their part in economic prosperity,” he said.
However, Ramay said that despite all the efforts, a few so-called rich Western countries are creating hurdles for China out of their hegemonic thinking and zero-sum Cold-War mentality.
“Instead of concentrating on the most pressing challenges like Covid-19 and world economy, they are bent to baseless criticism and focusing on how to contain China. These countries even dubbed the Chinese vaccine assistance to needy countries as vaccine diplomacy,” he said.
Yet, ignoring all the negative propaganda, China is making every effort to turn the ongoing challenges into opportunities for everyone to forge a prosperous world on sustainable development principles, he added.
Xi declares “complete victory” in eradicating absolute poverty in China
BEIJING, China (Desk) – Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Thursday that China has scored a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said absolute poverty has been eradicated in the world’s most populous country.
Xi made the announcement while addressing a grand gathering held in Beijing to mark the country’s accomplishments in poverty alleviation and honor its model poverty fighters.
Over the past eight years, the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line have all been lifted out of poverty. All the 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 impoverished villages have been removed from the poverty list.
Since the launch of the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, 770 million impoverished rural residents have shaken off poverty when calculated in accordance with China’s current poverty line.
China has contributed more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction over the same period.
With such achievements, China has created another “miracle” that will “go down in history,” Xi said