International Affairs

Pakistan, China sign agreement on trade in services

WUHAN: Pakistan and China on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding in trade in services to attract investment in services sector. The agreement will enhance the capacity of services providers in the two countries and create new jobs in various sectors including IT.

The agreement also envisages development of efficient services infrastructure and will ensure transfer of technology in all sectors. Under this agreement, China has increased its commitment to Pakistan in several sectors and sub-sectors and liberalized its trade regime. China will give market access in the services sector beyond any other member country of WTO or bilaterally.

Ambassador of Pakistan to China Masood Khan said that the two countries signed Free Trade Agreement in November 2006 and under the agreement signed Saturday the two countries will be able to trade in the services of professionals from each other’s country.

The agreement was signed by Pakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khan and Chinese Vice Minister for Commerce Chen Jian. President Asif Ali Zardari and State Councilor Dai Bingguo also witnessed the signing ceremony.

While State Councillor Dai Bingguo called on President Asif Ali Zardari and exchanged views on bilateral relations between the two countries. The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the pace and direction of Pak-China multidimensional relationship.

The President said the economic partnership between the two countries was of great importance in the emerging volatile global scenario. Both sides agreed that cooperation between the two countries needed to be increased in a more comprehensive manner and discussed future projects for collaboration in various fields.

The two sides agreed that establishment of Pak-China Trans border economic zones and Pak China rail link would go a long way for further strengthening the relationship between two countries. Later the State Councillor also hosted a dinner in honour of President Zardari.

President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday expressed his strongest desire to strengthen the already cordial relationships between China and Pakistan and said China can get access to its ports for trading with the rest of the world. In a joint interview with local television channels, radio and newspaper, the President said that some of the Chinese companies located in central China will find it convenient to trade through Pakistani ports which are nearer than their own. “We will encourage Chinese companies to come to Pakistan as Pakistan is geo-strategically located and provides them access to the rest of the world through its warm waters,” he added.

When asked how he assessed the cooperation and relationships between the two countries, he said these were over 50 years old in which three generations of Bhutto family played a very positive role. “My party and my government want to strengthen these relations which are historical and very vast and we are proud of China’s progress.”

When asked how he will describe these relations in one sentence, he replied it was not possible for him to summarize them.“I wish one million Chinese were in Pakistan and one million Pakistanis were in China and take this relationship to another level.” The President appreciated Chinese media and said it has always been very positive towards Pakistan and played an important role in strengthening the bilateral relations.-SANA

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Mubashar Nizam

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