President Dr. Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed enhancing bilateral trade with China, which currently stands at US$ 27.8 billion, and said the strengthening of business could prove mutually rewarding.
Talking to the outgoing Chinese ambassador Nong Rong here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president noted that under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), 19 projects were completed, 28 were under construction while 41 were in the pipeline.
President Alvi said the CPEC was a transformational flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, which had the potential to act as the pivot of regional peace and connectivity.
The expeditious completion of four broad clusters of cooperation — Gwadar Port and its auxiliary features, energy projects, transport infrastructure and industrial cooperation including the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) — will change trade, business and investment outlook of the country, he said.
The president observed that with shifts underway on the world stage, there was a need to further expedite the progress on CPEC so that the goods should start moving from South China to Gwadar port and upward in a regular manner.
The second phase of CPEC should be pursued expeditiously to promote agriculture; innovation and IT sector; industrial cooperation; livelihood generation and poverty alleviation; automobiles, textiles and leather manufacturing; and shifting of Chinese industries to Pakistan wherever possible, he added.