ISLAMABAD, Dec 2 (APP): Pakistan and China here on Thursday agreed to launch New Five Year Development Plan (FYDP) besides approving the proposals for 36 projects worth $ 13285 million in various fields of economy to further boost bilateral economic cooperation between the two friendly countries.The Pak-China Joint Committee on Economic, Trade Scientific and Technical Cooperation (JEC) held its 14th session here under the co-chairs of Finance Minister Dr. Hafiz Shaikh and visiting China International Trade Representative, Ministry of Commerce, Gao Hucheng.
The proposals of the projects the JEC agreed upon are related to development of industry, water and energy, agriculture, fisheries and communication.
The JEC also agreed to boost exports from Pakistan to China by providing tariff relaxation through Free Trade Agreement, Dr. Hafiz Shaikh and Gao Hucheng said while addressing a joint press conference here after JEC session.
Dr. Hafiz Shaikh said that China would also send purchasing missions to Pakistan to book orders for exports and facilitate Pakistani exporters to visit China and participate in trade fairs to explore markets for their products besides building capacity of the exporters.
In addition, the JEC agreed to enhance Chinese investment in various sectors of country’s economy including agriculture, electricity finance, mining and infrastructure, he added.
Hafiz Shaik said that the bilateral trade between the two countries was $6.2 billion that has been witnessing 30 percent increase on yearly basis adding that the JEC agreed to help boost balanced trade between the two countries.
Hafiz Shaikh appreciated the immediate response of the Chinese government in provision of relief goods for the flood victims and the announcement of $250 million grant for the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by the floods.
He said that the concerned authorities of the both the countries would meet soon to fix priorities for spending this post-flood assistance for the development of flood-hit areas.
Speaking on the occasion, Gao Hucheng said that Pakistan and China were enjoying all weather friendship and the increasing economic and trade relations between the two countries were the proof of this warmed friendship.
He said China was the first country that reached to the victims of flood besides announcing $250 million support for developing the infrastructure destroyed by the floods that wrecked havoc in the country.
Gao appreciated the ongoing economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and China and noted that significant progress has been made in the fields of economy and trade cooperation since holding of 13th JEC in April 2007.
Gao said that although trade between the two countries was in Chinese favour however, efforts would be made to encourage balanced trade by enhancing Pakistani exports to China.
The JEC reaffirmed strong support in advancing cooperation between the two countries in trade, economic, scientific and technical sectors as guided by the mandate of the Joint Commission.
The JEC reviewed the ongoing FYDP and appreciated that a large number of mega projects of strategic importance have been completed under this programme.
Both the sides reiterated that economic cooperation between the two countries was a major contributing factor in bringing the people of Pakistan and China close to each other.