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Pakistan-China signed second phase of FTA

29 April, 2019

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Pakistan and China on Sunday signed the second phase of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to further enhance bilateral trade between the two countries.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang witnessed the signing ceremony held here at Diaoyutai State Guest House.

The MoUs/agreements signed/exchanged on the occasion included: Second Phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement; Declaration for Completion of Preliminary Design of Phase-I for Up-gradation of ML-1 and Establishment of Havelian Dry Port under CPEC; MoU on Cooperation in the field of Marine Sciences between China Geological Survey (CGS), Ministry of Natural Resources of China, Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Science and Technology; MoU between CIDCA and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform on Implementation of Projects under JWG of CPEC on Socio-Economic Development; China-Pakistan Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement; and Rashakai SEZ Joint Venture and License Agreement between KPEZMDC and CRBC.

Later addressing the participants of Pakistan-China Trade and Investment Forum organised by the Ministry of Commerce here, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited the Chinese entrepreneurs to take benefits of investment friendly policies of the present government and relocate their industries in the special economic zones being built under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “We want the Chinese entrepreneurs to relocate their industries in special economic zones being constructed in Pakistan just like they repositioned the industries in Vietnam and other countries,” he said. More than 370 Chinese companies and businessmen and 70 entrepreneurs from Pakistan participated in the forum.

The prime minister also expressed his government’s resolve to remove impediments in the way of investment and make the doing business easy for the Chinese businessmen in Pakistan. He said the government has offered incentives and concessions in the tax and asked them to use Pakistan as base for the export to other countries. He said unfortunately, the previous government did not pay much attention to set up export industries but the present government has changed policy and encouraging investment, adding, “We are not only helping the exporters but also providing incentives to businessmen and traders to relocate their industries in our country.”

Highlighting the security situation in Pakistan, the prime minister said it has greatly improved with sacrifices rendered by Pakistan’s armed forces and other security organisations.

About relations with neighboring countries, he said Pakistan is helping peace process in Afghanistan and for the first time there are prospects of peace and a political settlement of Afghan issue.

Regarding relations with India, he said elections were being held in the neighbouring country and hoped that both the countries will resume dialogue once the new government takes charge after the elections. He remarked that the Kashmir is a core issue between the two countries which should be resolved through talks and negotiations. The prime minister Imran Khan also visited the headquarters of FOTON Automotives. Chairman Gong Yueqiong briefed the prime minister and said that FOTON is investing in Pakistan through establishment of an assembly plant as a joint venture.

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