Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Pakistani media Monday that China values its trade with Pakistan and regards it as pivotal area that should be expanded.
Wen gave an interview with the Associated Press of Pakistan before his visits to the South Asian countries Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.
Wen said China and Pakistan have established an "all-weather, all-around cooperative partnership" despite volatile international changes.
"The Chinese government will make joint efforts with Pakistan under the guidance of the joint declaration signed by the two heads of state in 2003, expand cooperation fields, raise cooperation levels and make bilateral cooperation benefit the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples," he said.
Wen said he hopes the two sides take measures to expand trade and make use of the strong compatibility of the two countries' industry and trade structure to discuss the establishment of free trade area.
"The Chinese government will continue to encourage and support the two countries' private sectors to enhance cooperation, invest in each other and realize mutual benefits," Wen said.
He said, "China and South Asian countries are close neighbors and developing countries. Pursuing peace and stability and promoting development are our common aspiration.
"China sincerely hopes South Asian countries enjoy long-term stability, harmonious relations and economic development," Wen said, adding that China will support "all efforts that are conducive to peace, stability and development in the south Asia."
He said China pursues peaceful development according to the principle of "building friendship and partnership" with its neighbors. "We are willing to enhance good-neighborly relations with South Asian and other Asian countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and join hands to promote the regional and world peace and development," he said.