China-ASEAN-Pakistan trade triangle to propel three-way cooperation

Updated: November 30, 2020 Source: Global Times
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On the sidelines of 17th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), CAEXPO Secretary General Wang Lei met with Pakistani Ambassador Moin ul Haque in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to discuss ways to enhance Pakistan's footprint in the premier trade and investment platform.

Pakistani Ambassador Moin ul Haque meets with Secretary General China-ASEAN Expo Wang Lei in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Saturday. Photos: Courtesy of the Pakistani Embassy in China

Wang welcomed Pakistan's participation as a Special Partner Country for the first time, acknowledging the impressive country pavilion set up by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and booths by Pakistani businesses displaying quality merchandise and attractive handicrafts. 

Wang expressed hope that Pakistan's Trade and Investment Promotion Conference held on the expo's sidelines would introduce Pakistan's vast market to Chinese and ASEAN entrepreneurs.

Wang informed that Pakistan would remain as the Special Partner Country for the 18th CAEXPO in 2021 as well. 

Haque welcomed the decision, expressing the hope that the pandemic related travel restrictions would have eased by that time, enabling the participation of high-level officials and trade delegations from Pakistan. 

Ambassdor Haque congratulated Wang on successful organization of 17th CAEXPO despite the COVID-19 pandemic's challenge, and conveyed gratitude for inviting Pakistan as a Special Partner Country. 

Underlying CAEXPO's significance for regional trade and investments, Haque referred to Pakistani President Arif Alvi's video address in the inaugural ceremony in which he proposed a China-ASEAN-Pakistan trade triangle that would propel three-way cooperation in trade, investment, culture and tourism. 

President Alvi commended the Chinese government for effectively overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring trade and economic activity by holding CAEXPO and other trade exhibitions. 

China has emerged as an economic hub and strong exponent of free trade and multilateralism as shown by its signing of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is the world's largest trade agreement to-date, said the president. 

Pakistan has multifaceted economic cooperation with China, including a Free Trade Agreement, which entered its expanded phase II early in 2020, and the transformative China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC), which has brought great economic benefits to Pakistan and enhanced connectivity in the region, the president said. 

With the completion of infrastructure and energy projects, CPEC has now entered a new phase of greater emphasis on strengthening Pakistan's industry, agriculture, and socioeconomic sectors. 

President Alvi encouraged investors from China and ASEAN to invest in the Special Economic Zones of Pakistan, which are subject to special supportive policies and attractive tariff and tax concessions for foreign investors.

Editor: Yu Huichen