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Sunday, August 13, 2000, updated at 16:03(GMT+8)

Sino-Pakistan Trade on Upward Trend

Bilateral trade and economic co-operation between China and Pakistan is pushing steadily ahead.

In the first six months of this year, trade between the two countries reached US$494.3 million, up 4.7 per cent from the same period last year, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

China's imports from Pakistan, mainly cotton textile materials, leather, chromium mineral and crude oil, rose 7.5 per cent to US$204.8 million.

China's exports to Pakistan also ticked up 2.8 per cent from the same period last year in the first six months to US$280 million, official statistics showed.

Chinese exports to Pakistan mainly include chemical materials, machinery, medicine, minerals, light industry products, native produce and animal by-products.

Pakistan's high value-added imports from China, such as machinery and electronic products, created a trade deficit with China, said an official at Pakistan embassy.

Pakistan imports about US$200-300 million in machinery and electronic products each year, according to statistics from the GAC.

The official added that China and Pakistan agreed last May to take measures to redress the existing trade imbalance between the two countries at the 11th session of the Sino-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission in Beijing.

China and Pakistan also promised to expand bilateral trade by exploring new methods and products at the session.

The two sides said they plan to enhance their co-operation in such fields as telecommunications, agriculture, harbours, computer software and hardware, city planning and reconstruction, export-oriented industry, minerals development, gas and oil development and road construction.

They will also work closely together in technological exchange and co-operation, according to an agreement reached at the meeting.

Many Chinese companies have started business in Pakistan with the Chinese Government's encouragement.

By the end of last year, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) had approved over 20 Chinese companies to conduct business in Pakistan.

Products involved contracted capital of about US$20 million, with over US$10 million from China.

Chinese investments in Pakistan are mainly concerned with the textile industry, services trade, manufacturing and processing, according to officials with the MOFTEC.

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Bilateral trade and economic co-operation between China and Pakistan is pushing steadily ahead.

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