Visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji Saturday hailed the close Sino-Pakistan economic cooperation and put forward proposals to further enhance and expand the relations between the two countries to greater height and width.
In his speech at the luncheon hosted by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Zhu thanked FPCCI and friends from the Pakistani business community for their useful work in promoting Sino-Pakistan friendship, economic cooperation and trade.
Noting that the bilateral trade between China and Pakistan hit a record high, the premier stressed the need to build on what has been achieved and to expand bilateral trade and investment.
He said that the present sustained economic growth of the two countries, especially China's strategy of developing its west and Pakistan's endeavor to develop agriculture and infrastructure, provided favorable conditions and good opportunities to business communities of both sides.
Zhu put forward a four-point proposal to achieve closer economic ties between the two countries, which includes:
1. To strengthen agricultural cooperation with focus on such fields as farm tool manufacturing, crop amelioration, farm produce processing and eco-agriculture.
2. To accelerate cooperation in the field of infrastructure through continuing contribution to Pakistan's economic development and by encouraging Chinese enterprises to take an active part in its program.
3. To open up new spheres for economic cooperation and trade such as broadband network and software development in the hope that these may become new growth points in Sino-Pakistan cooperation.
4. To seek new ways of cooperation in the forms of joint ventures, exclusively-foreign-owned companies and leasing.
Serving as an indispensable and important basis for Sino- Pakistan relations, the economic cooperation between the two friendly neighbors would be brought to a new high in the new century with concerted efforts by both sides, said Zhu at the conclusion of his speech.
Iftikhar Ali Malik, president of FPCCI, the apex body of trade and industry in Pakistan, delivered an address expressing deep gratitude to Zhu for attending the luncheon. He extended appreciation to China's continuous assistance to Pakistan for years and expressed his hope for further economic cooperation with China.
Pakistani Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf, Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar and Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz were also present at the luncheon.
(People’s Daily 05/13/2001)