China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has said that China is keen to import meat, potato, onion, mango, and cherry from Pakistan, as experts will visit quarantine facilities by next month to finalize import of these commodities to further enhance bilateral trade.
In a meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar, he also acknowledged his dedicated efforts for giving new impetus to agricultural cooperation under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that China has a great demand for meat and poultry and it can be a lucrative international market for Pakistan.
PAK-CHINA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
He said that both Pakistan and China must work together for the removal of technical barriers like SPS and quarantine requirements. He said that China wants to build stronger socioeconomic relations with Pakistan and also wants to buy more from Pakistan. Khusro Bakhtiar said that Pakistan is focusing on strategically structuring the agriculture sector under CPEC.
“We want enhanced productivity of cotton which has considerably plummeted, both Pakistan and China can work on the exchange of pest-resistant, and high yielding germplasms of cotton.” He said that Pak-China Centre of Excellence is going to be established in Multan with close coordination of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee to formulate a holistic strategy for the said purpose.
He apprised the Chinese ambassador regarding the ongoing threat posed by locusts and efforts to contain the menace. “Under Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme, we are leaving no stone unturned to align this sector with international standards and for that we need to equip it with modern agricultural machinery, low cost of production and modern research,” he said.
DISEASE FREE ZONE
Before the next meeting of the Joint Working Group, Pakistan and China must work together to finalize the plan of execution, he said. “We are moving ahead to collaborate in achieving foot and mouth disease-free zone and a memorandum for the establishment of foot and mouth disease-free zone is currently negotiated by both sides.
“We believe in ease of doing business and if we collaborate for the elimination of foot and mouth disease, it will boost our meat export to China,” the minister said and underlined the importance of mutual cooperation in areas of value addition and food processing of horticultural crops. He expressed his pleasure and satisfaction that bilateral relations are growing in the right direction.
It is pertinent to mention here that the federal minister has nominated focal person from National Food Security and Research for coordination and the Chinese side has also appointed the agriculture counselor as their focal person.
CHINA AS TOP IMPORTER
With its $4025.177 million imports to Pakistan, China remained top importer of the country during the first five months of the current financial year (2019-20), followed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore. During November 2019, the total imports from China witnessed a negative growth of 5.49 percent during the period under review as compared to the imports of $4259.085 million in the last financial year.
This was followed by UAE, wherefrom Pakistan imported goods worth $3070.454 million against the imports of $4300.905 million last year, showing a decline of 28.60 percent, according to the data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. Singapore was at the third top country from where Pakistan imported products worth $917.708 million against the imports of $771.262 million last year, showing a decrease of 48.18 percent.
During the first month of the current financial year, among other countries, Pakistan’s imports from Qatar stood at $794.654 million against $786.815 million during the last year, showing a nominal increase of 0.99 percent while the imports from United State were recorded at $729.167 million against $747.560 million last year, showing a decrease of 2.46 percent, the data showed.
The imports from Saudi Arabia were recorded at $622.855 million against $1309.231 million whereas the imports from Japan were recorded at $519.089 million against $680.868 million last year. During the period under review, the imports from Indonesia were recorded at $425.935 million against $495.532 million whereas imports from Kuwait stood at 422.371 million against $484.566 million.
Similarly, the imports from Thailand during the period under review were recorded at $375.100 million against $484.313 million while the imports from South Africa stood at $339.823 million against $295.634.
Pakistan’s imports from Hong Kong were recorded at $291.769 million during the financial year compared to $352.054 million last year, whereas imports from South Korea stood at $290.545 million against $336.995 million.