Pakistan has started to prepare its agenda for the first high level visit of its newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan to China. The invitation for the visit to China was extended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on his recent visit to Pakistan when both countries agreed to deepen and broaden the all-weather strategic relationship built upon decades of mutual trust.
Political transitions and the changing of governments has never disturbed the status of the strategic partnership and every newly elected Pakistani government has taken the lead in pushing forward the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries to new heights with the support and commitment of the people on both sides.
The new government admires the remarkable achievements of the great Chinese nation, which is destined to reach new heights under the visionary leadership of President Xi Jinping. Imran Khan has gained the attention of the international community through his exclusive remarks in his victory speech about the remarkable progress of China in the last 40 years following the path of reform and opening up.
Besides meetings with President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, PM Imran Khan will also attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE) as a guest of honor which shows the significance of the China-Pakistan relationship that serves as a model of friendship in interstate relations.
During his visit to China, PM Imran Khan is expected to communicate to the Chinese top leadership that the new government is now pushing forward an ambitious reform agenda by introducing structural changes, and is willing to learn from China’s experiences on poverty eradication, economic development, anti-corruption, the social sector, agriculture, environmental protection, disaster reduction and other areas, among which the promotion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the priority.
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PM Imran Khan has stated that he wishes to strengthen economic growth in Pakistan to create more jobs and boost the production capacity of various industries. Pakistan is in dire need of exploring new markets and China as a reliable friend is in a good position to assist in implementing the reform agenda. Pakistan aims to balance its exposure to the Chinese market by increasing its exports and to minimize the deficit in bilateral trade. Business circles in the country believe that the import expo will pave the way for the trade community on both sides to push forward business relationships more smoothly and effectively.
Pakistan, being a flagship member of the Belt and Road Initiative, can get more chances to promote and advertise its products on the international arena. This platform is not only meant for developing a closer relationship with Chinese companies but it is a golden opportunity for the participants to interact with each other and to explore the potential of the trade relationship.
Pakistan now has a historic opportunity to appreciably raise the level of exports to China by attending the CIIE. Companies with business interests in rice, meat, textile, fruits, seafood, footwear and leather have finalized their preparations to showcase their potential.
The CIIE will create new areas of growth for Sino-Pakistani trade and investment cooperation which is illustrated by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s delegation of 40 top exporters on this significant visit.
Over the last four years, CPEC, the flagship project of the BRI, has helped Pakistan to lift its economic growth rate from 3 percent to 5.2 percent which has paved a way for the revival of industries after tackling the energy crisis. The agenda and vision of Imran Khan to place the Pakistani economy back on track is relevant to the bilateral CPEC framework which aims to provide prosperity not only for Pakistani people but for the whole region.
It is hoped that the visit will help both sides to further deepen strategic mutual trust and understanding, and strengthen strategic communication.
Confronted with a complex and complicated global situation, it is vital for strategic partners to handle their own affairs smoothly to maintain growth and stability, and to broaden and deepen meaningful and result-oriented cooperation with frequent exchanges and dialogues. Both countries can secure more constructive and favorable conditions to make greater contributions for the stability, peace, development and prosperity of the region and the world at large.
Muhammad Zamir Assadi is a Pakistani journalist who graduated in China development studies from Renmin University of China. He is also a media fellow at the China South Asia and South East Asia press center.
(This news/article originally appeared in China.org.cn on October 31st, 2018)