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Pakistan Vows to Further Ties with China
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Pakistan will make more efforts to enhance the multifaceted relationship with China, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told Xinhua in an exclusive interview here Thursday.

"Sino-Pakistani cooperation in every area is growing. It is a multi-multifaceted relationship. It is a very strong, rich, broad relationship," Aziz said.

He said that the relationship covered diplomacy, political relations, investment, economic cooperation, science and technology, security, defense, culture, and people-to-people contact.

"All areas are growing rapidly because Pakistan and China are two countries, which are committed to peace and development and improving the qualities of the lives of their people," Aziz said.

"Pakistan and China can also be a major stabilizing influence in this part of the world because their locations, their presence and their desire to have peaceful environment," he added.

To facilitate economic cooperation between China and Pakistan, Aziz said that the two countries are going to set up a joint investment company and an industrial zone near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore for Chinese investment in Pakistan.

With the free trade agreement between the two countries, he said, Pakistan and China can export goods to each other at almost zero tariff.

"We believe trade is the best way to develop economic ties," he said.

"We are very appreciative that after my visit to China (in April) there is a quick follow-up by the Chinese government to send such a huge delegation," said Aziz, who met with a Chinese business delegation Wednesday.

"And the peculiar thing about the delegation is that over 40 people are private-sector people with only 10 officials, so we are very pleased".

"The delegation told me here yesterday they wanted to buy US$200 million Pakistani goods to increase imports from Pakistan," he said.

Meanwhile, a group of 12 Chinese companies Thursday signed agreements with their Pakistani counterparts to purchase goods worth US$210 million from Pakistan, according to Chinese officials.

Representatives of the Chinese companies including two world's top 500, China Minmetals Corporation and Sinochem Corporation, held talks with Pakistani companies on importing Pakistani products, such as chrome ore, marble, cotton yarn, leather, cottonlinters, celestite and guar bean, to China, according to officials from the Chinese embassy in Islamabad.

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2007)

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