ISLAMABAD, MAY 19 (DNA) – Chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Capital Office, Qurban Ali on Wednesday hails the promotion of Internationalization of the renminbi (RMB) to provide ease of trade and bilateral businesses between China and Pakistan.
Its goal is for Chinese and non-Chinese alike to use the RMB for trade, lending, borrowing, and investing internationally, Chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Capital Office, Qurban said this while addressing the webinar along
with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Nong Rongand other representatives of different local and international Banking chains.
While Chairman FPCCI also demanded that the Chinese government open a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) or Bank of China in Gilgit-Baltistan to facilitate trade between the two countries by implementing the RMB strategy in the true sense of the word. He said that Pakistan and China originally signed the currency swap
arrangement in 2011 to promote bilateral trade and investment and strengthen financial cooperation. According to the pact, Pakistani importers were allowed to pay for Chinese goods in local currency.
Chairman FPCCI said that due to close proximity with China the local business community of Gilgit Baltistan has been facing certain issues and having some benefits as well, he said. He said that during the COVID-19 because of the closure of Khunjerab Pass bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China through Khunjerab was decreasing. He informed that because of expensive freight charges of Chinese trucks/ containers bilateral trade was at a halt. He informed that for instance, the freight charge from Urumqi to Sust which was 1889 KM, for 30 feet containers is 20000 RMB in November 2017.
He added that now the freight of vehicles which usually is about 20,000 RMB has been increased up to 120,000 RMB. Qurban also said that the issues of the Chinese Visas for genuine businessmen should be simplified and easy to provide the facility to the business community of Pakistan on the recommendation of FPCCI. He said that last year’s no Pakistani businessman went to China due to the closure of the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now Visa’s process should be easy and simplified for the business community.
Chairman FPCCI also urged for enhancing the China and Pakistan economic and trade connectivity through the nearer region of Gilgit Baltistan(GB). The senior business leader said that the GB region is a gateway for CPEC to provide opportunities to the Chinese business community and investors to connect with China as well as other regional countries including Central Asian Republics (CARs) to get benefits from their economies. He said that China Pakistan Economic (CPEC) related Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Special economic Zone (SEZ) and others would increase the business and industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan.
Qurban Ali said that Chinese investors and businessmen can invest and start Joint Ventures (JVs) with local industrialists in Gilgit Baltistan, SEZ in value addition on agriculture, livestock, mines, and minerals and milk products. While he said that in Gilgit Baltistan, there is a huge potential for hydropower, which also supports any Chinese investor for available cheap energy to the industrial sector and provides secure business opportunities. The senior business leader said that economic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) would make Pakistan a hub for regional trade, transit and transshipment. He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a project of global significance, would connect the whole country from Balochistan to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) with big economies like China.
Qurban Ali said that Gilgit Baltistan and Northern Areas are considered as the gateway of CPEC as after the completion of this mega project Gilgit Baltistan would not only be connected with the major cities of the country but also with the great neighboring economy
China. Meanwhile, he informed that Gilgit Baltistan has huge potential in tourism, Agriculture, livestock, mining, fisheries, fruits and vegetables for exploiting this potential there is need to develop agro industry in the region.He said that value addition in local Agriculture would not only boost the GBs economy but also earn foreign exchange for the country through trade of these items.
In webinar coordinator FPCCI Capital Office, Mirza Abdul Rehman has highlighted the different aspects of bilateral trade and economic ties between Pakistan and China and also gives his suggestion for enhancing the trade between both sides.
Mirza said that Pakistan has huge potential to convert its land to trade corridor for regional and world trade through its geo-economic location in the region. He said that a boost in trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan would maximize chances of regional economic integration and enhance the connectivity among neighboring countries.
He said Pakistan has already allowed Afghanistan to use Gwadar for its transit trade as the same was demanded by the Central Asian States to connect them with Gwadar port in near future. Now both sides have agreed to provide opportunities to Afghanistan trade items through Gwadar and Bin Qasim Ports in a good gesture to enhance the economic ties.=DNA