Interview: China-Pakistan trade could exceed target: Pakistan Ambassador

18:05, December 13, 2010      

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China and Pakistan could exceed their 2015 bilateral trade volume target of 15 billion US dollars with the soaring growth in bilateral trade, Pakistan's Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, has told Xinhua.

Total trade in the first nine months this year reached 6.2 billion US dollars, a 29-percent rise from the same period last year, Khan said.

If such growth continued, then over the next five years, trade could be as high as 18 billion US dollars a year, said Khan in advance of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pakistan later this month.

Pakistan and China could boost cooperation in agriculture, energy, finance and banking, as well as science and technology.

Pakistan needed China's help in its agricultural sector in terms of "hybrid seed development, water conservation, irrigation and crop monitoring," he said.

Wen is scheduled to address a joint session of Pakistan's parliament and inaugurate the Pakistan-China Friendship Center. The friendship center is intended to facilitate exchanges among students, the media and academic circles.

The two governments would also launch a new energy cooperation mechanism during Wen's visit, said Khan.

He said "the sky is the limit" for education and culture exchanges, and more Pakistanis were expected to go to China to study "subjects like nano-technology, biotechnology, advanced chemistry and physics."

The Pakistani people saw China as a trusted partner, very good neighbor and close friend, said Khan.

"China has always helped Pakistan and done the right thing towards the Pakistani people. When we were hit by the earthquake in 2005, China helped us massively. This time when there were floods, we were given massive, timely and unconditional assistance," Khan said.

"From the corridors of government to the streets, people are so excited and keen to receive the Premier of China," he said.

Pakistan faces a serious challenge from terrorism, which Khan described as a threat that "deprived people of life, property and sense of security."

He said Pakistanis were "determined to defeat this evil force."

To stay on the offensive against terrorism, Pakistan is seeking full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which it was still an observer.

According to the 2005 treaty of friendship, he said, "China and Pakistan agreed to make joint efforts to defeat the evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism. That fits into the SCO philosophy."

He said the two nations cooperated actively and had held joint exercises in Ningxia focusing on combating terrorism.

"We are very clear that China's security is Pakistan's security," said Khan.

Source: Xinhua
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