KARACHI: The Chinese Consul General in Karachi, Yang Yundong has emphasized that no attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship and the construction of CPEC will succeed. China has confidence, determination, and the capability to work together with Pakistan to overcome all difficulties and challenges, and to ensure that the development of our relations remains steady and moves forward in the long run.
Chinese CG expressed these views during a meeting with a 51-member delegation from the Pakistan Chemicals and Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) at the Chinese Consulate. This was the first instance in the country’s history where such a large delegation of Pakistani traders had been invited to the Chinese Consulate. Nadeem Sheikh, Chairman PCDMA, Shahid Bashir, Vice Chairman, Arif Balgamwala, Chief Advisor, Chaudhary Naseer, Nasser Hyatt Maggo, Amin Balgamwala, members and Chinese Consulate officials also attended the meeting.
Chinese CG said, “We hope that the business community, especially PCDMA and Pakistan Philatelic and Numismatics Forum (PPNF), will play a greater role in the future, expanding the scope of our cooperation, promoting the success story of China-Pakistan collaboration, further enhancing people-to-people connectivity between our two countries, and creating a broader and more profound impact.”
He noticed that not long ago, many members of PCDMA visited China and participated in Interdye Shangai 2003. This should be your first visit to China after the pandemic, and he believes this trip has deepened and expanded the cooperative partnership with China, achieving satisfactory results. In the first half of this year, China’s economy grew by 5.5% year on year, significantly outpacing the 3% growth rate of last year, the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and have achieved a number of early harvests.
This has added new impetus to the economic and social development of Pakistan and laid a good foundation for regional connectivity and integration. It is a vivid testament to the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan and provides an important underpinning for building an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.
Looking into the future, China is willing to work with Pakistan to adhere to high standards, sustainability, and benefiting the people, expand and deepen the industrial cooperation, including agriculture, manufacturing and textiles, making the CPEC an exemplary project for high-quality BRI cooperation.
The Consul General was of the view that the development of China-Pakistan relations and CPEC will create more opportunities for the business community. Though, it faces some challenges, such as attempts by certain forces to sow discord and smear the cooperation between the two countries, especially attacking and discrediting the CPEC. Terrorism also poses a constant threat to our cooperation. On 13th August, terrorists attacked a convoy of a Chinese added project in Gwadar, fortunately no Chinese citizens were killed or injured.
“In the first half of the year, China’s import and export volume exceeded 20 trillion yuan, setting a new historical record for the same period and showing a year-on-year growth of 2.1%, and China’s share in global trade remained relatively stable. The achievements we have made are inseparable from the hard work of the Chinese people and the cooperation between China and its foreign partners, among which Pakistani businessmen have made outstanding contributions. China has been Pakistan’s largest trading partner for eight consecutive years, Pakistan’s largest source of imports and second largest export destination, and Pakistan’s largest source of foreign direct investment.”
According to him, in the Financial year of 2023, Pakistan received USD432.7 million of Foreign Direct investment from China, accounting for 30.09% of the total FDI coming to Pakistan. China continues to be the largest source of FDI in Pakistan.
He informed that Not long ago, for the first time Pakistan’s seafood was transported by land along the CPEC from Karachi to Kashi, Xinjiang China Pakistan’s exports of sugars and sugar confectionery crossed US$ 18 million in the first half of 2023. Also according to the General Administration of Customs of China, Pakistan Himalayan pink salt exported to China reached US$ 4.96 million in 2021 and 5.75 million in 2022, a year on year increase of 15.7%. In May this year, about two hundred entrepreneurs from China came to Karachi to participate in the 4th TEXPO, and another hundreds of Chinese businessmen came again to attend the Food and Agri Expo in Karachi a few days ago.
Yang Yundong said, he hopeful that the business community, especially PCDMA and Pakistan Philatelic & Numismatics Forum (PPNF), will play a great role in the future, expanding the scope of our cooperation, promoting the success story of China-Pakistan collaboration, further enhancing people-to-people connectivity between our two countries, and creating a broader and more profound impact. “I would like to take this opportunity to present a certificate to Arif Balgamwala, Chief Advisor of PCDMA, Chairman of PPNF, for his contribution to the promotion of China and Pakistan friendship and cooperation. Arif Balgamwala has been engaged in China and Pakistan friendship and cooperation for many years.
Sheikh Muhammad Nadeem, Chairman PCDMA, said that businessmen and investors need to seek opportunities in relation to CPEC. He urged the Consul General that they should include PCDMA in small business projects between Pakistani and Chinese companies under CPEC, in order to promote the chemicals and dyes industries in Pakistan.
Chief Advisor, M. Arif Balgamwala appreciated the facilities provided by the consulate during the recent visit of the PCDMA delegation to China, and emphasized to Chinese traders that they should avail the services of PCDMA for obtaining joint venture opportunities in the chemicals and dyes sector. Arif Balgamwala mentioned that he has achieved 4 gold medals in China for his collection of rare tickets.
Nasser Hyatt Maggo, the former President of FPCCI, and Chaudhry Naseer both referred to CPEC as crucial and stressed the significance of opening up Joint Ventures and the Pakistan-China Corridor. This, they believe, would provide a significant boost to bilateral trade and facilitate easier access, particularly from Punjab, especially Sialkot.