BEIJING ( 2008-07-01 14:54:05 ) :Pakistan and China on Tuesday pledged to take their bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2011, in their effort bringing economic ties at par with their strong political and strategic partnership.
These views were expressed by Federal Minister for Housing and Works Rehmat Ullah Kakar after his meeting with Secretary General of CPC Kashgar, Shi Dagang.
The meeting was held between the two leaders during the week-long 4th Kashgar Central and South Asia Trade Fair that started on June 28, the Commercial and Economic Counsellor of Pakistan Embassy Dr. Naeem Khan told APP on return from Kashgar.
Shi expressed the hope that following implementation of Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and China the bilateral trade would further improve.
The meeting was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Lue Zhao Hui and Managing Director of Pakistan Housing Authority Raja Mohammad Abbas besides other members of Pakistan delegation.
The Secretary General of CPC thanked the Minister and his delegation for participating in the Fair in large number.
On the occasion, he also expressed his gratitude for the massive relief goods provided by the Pakistani government for the May 12 Sichuan devastated earthquake.
Minister for Housing Rehmat Kakar called for greater coordination between the customs, immigration and Quarantine departments as well as among the Administrations of Xingjian and Northern Areas for smooth flow of bilateral trade.
He also highlighted the importance of Pakistan and China Cross Boarder Economic Zones.
The Minister said that Pakistan is keen to improve its communication and infrastructure network and in this connection he pointed out that the expansion of Karakarum Highway is already taken in hand at a cost of $ 500 Million.
He further said that a feasibility study to lay a railway network between Havalian to Kashgar at a cost of Rs 144 million has also been carried out by the Government of Pakistan.
He said that with improved communication network and integrated boarder management there will be much greater trade through the KKH.
The Housing Minister lauded the excellent arrangements made by the Chinese government for the Beijing Olympic and expressed the confidence that the August 8-24 sports gala would be the most successful ever staged in the history.
“The government and people of Pakistan fully support one China policy and strongly condemn those who elements who wanted to involve politics in the Games”, he added.
Out of 200 stalls established in the fair, 50 stalls have been set up by the Pakistani exhibitors while 28 by the business community of Northern Areas.
In the Pakistani pavilion, the business community has exhibited goods produced in the country showcasing the high quality products which are attracting the visitors in the international fair of the economic importance.
Photographs by Asghar Khan