China is mulling temporarily reopening of Khunjarab border with Pakistan to allow movement of freight vehicles, stuck up due to coronavirus lockdown, its envoy said on Saturday
China is mulling temporarily reopening of Khunjarab border with Pakistan to allow movement of freight vehicles, stuck up due to coronavirus lockdown, its envoy said on Saturday. Yao Jing, the Chinese envoy met Abdul Razak Dawood, the advisor to the Prime Minister on commerce and investment, and discussed the opening of Khunjarab border as well as strategies to exploit bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the wake of corona pandemic.
The meeting was also attended by secretary commerce and other senior officers .
“The ambassador apprised the advisor that temporary opening of the border is under consideration in order to clear the backlog of containers,” a statement said. “Both sides agreed to finalse the modalities in this regard to resolve the issue on priority.”
Around 186 containers are stuck at the Khunjrab border “which is a cause of great concern especially among small businesses”.
Dawood said Pakistan exports are beginning to gain momentum after a slow down caused by COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns.
“Both sides need to sit together again and discuss issues related to bilateral trade with efforts to further diversify the products being exported from Pakistan, with a specific focus on value-addition, under phase II of the China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement,” Dawood added.
The Chinese Ambassador discussed various proposals for joint ventures between Chinese and Pakistani companies, particularly in value added agriculture sector.
The advisor highlighted that the meat and poultry exports of Pakistan have risen by more than 50 percent in the fiscal year 2019-20, with market accessibility to Middle East.
He said a joint venture with Chinese would benefit Pakistan because of its export potential not only in China but elsewhere as well.
“Joint Ventures with the Chinese companies would allow Pakistan to have improved technology and enhanced capacity for production and exports,” the advisor said.
The opportunities and ongoing projects of CPEC were also discussed during the meeting and the advisor emphasized the need to start the industrial activity through development of Special Economic Zones.
The ambassador said China was moving fast on some of the construction projects in Pakistan, which would create a number of jobs for the local population. In addition, the increasing pace of economic activities at Gwadar was also discussed.