by Mariam Raheem

ISLAMABAD – With Pak-China economic and trade relations upgrading continuously, capacity cooperation has become one of the important carriers of complementary advantages between both countries.

It is learned that trade volume between both countries has grown rapidly showing an increase from $4 billion in year 2004-2005 to around $20 billion in recent years. It is also worth mentioning that as per China Customs, Pakistan’s exports to China in first half of 2021 amounted to $1.73 billion, an huge growth of 84% as compared to 1H 2020 which shows great potential of China-Pakistan trade investment and Pakistan’s growing visibility and advantages in trade and logistics.

Mr. Wang Zihai, Executive Director, Pakistan China Center (PCC) who was appointed as Honorable Investment Counsellor (HIC) by Pakistani Board of Investment (BoI) recently, said in an interview with Gwadar Pro that the center is focusing on making this platform to gather capital, technology and talents, incubate high-tech industries and promote people-to-people exchanges. “In the next step, we will sort out Pakistan’s industrial categories and find the space for complementarity with China’s related industries, so as to encourage China’s capacity to complement Pakistan’s strengths.”

Talking about the challenges facing Pak-China trade and its prospect, Mr. Wang highlighted that although the volume of trade is growing every year, the total volume is still insufficient compared with the political situation that has been friendly for generations and the population of the two countries. “There is trade deficit between Pakistan and China, which will affect the balanced development of trade in the long run. But we are delighted to see that CPFTA Phase II has brought huge benefits and if we work on innovative trade model, the deficit can be bridged soon hopefully.”

Presently the new model and new business type emerge one after another. Cross-border e-commerce is in full swing and barter trade is also in preliminary exploration. China-Pakistan cooperation needs to keep up with the pace of the times. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor under construction provides immense physical space and corresponding market opportunities for the expansion of China-Pakistan trade. Mr. Wang stated that recently, together with relevant departments, PCC has launched a cross-border e-commerce development strategy workshop for Pakistani youth to learn new business type.

Mr. Wang has been in Pakistan for 16 years since 2005. During this period, he has been engaged in industry, service, investment retailing, and has also served as president of chambers of commerce and associations. He maintained that in order to promote industrial transformation, Pakistan is committed to building special economic zones, including speeding up the construction of nine special economic zones under CPEC. Chinese companies may consider setting up joint ventures with Pakistani enterprises in the manufacturing of tires, cars, trucks, textiles, etc.