Pakistani volunteer's ringside seat at Beijing trade fair

(Xinhua) 14:13, September 06, 2023

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani graduate student Hussain Azhar has volunteered at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing these days, promoting his home country's exhibitors at the fair, which he considers an excellent event for identifying business opportunities.

"I am very proud to be selected as one of the volunteers by the Pakistani Embassy in China to help introduce what we have to offer here to visitors from all over the world," Azhar said.

At the five-day fair, from Sept. 2 to 6, Azhar received about 150 visitors per day, on average, at the Pakistani national pavilion.

Azhar is working on his Ph.D. in business at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, and views his volunteering stint as a fascinating and eye-opening experience.

At the Pakistani national pavilion, there are five exhibitors: the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) of the Pakistani government; the National Logistic Corporation (NLC); the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP); Habib Bank Limited (HBL); and the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

"STZA provides solutions to international entrepreneurs to start their business or invest in Pakistan, and NLC, NBP as well as HBL have taken CIFTIS as an opportunity to promote their cross-border services in logistics and financing," said Azhar.

Prior to studying in Beijing, Azhar taught business studies at Preston University in Pakistan for 17 years.

"I can't put into words how excited I am to see so many big-name companies and advanced technologies at the fair, which brought together important companies like Alibaba, Intel, Deloitte and countless innovative companies from around the world," he said.

"I was most impressed by a cutting-edge and fairly-priced solar panel product exhibited at the fair by a company from China's Zhejiang Province. It would be of a great opportunity if it were introduced to Pakistan, which has a shortage of electricity supply," he said.

The 40-year-old is a father of three. He enthusiastically shared his experience at the fair with his children in Pakistan via video chat.

"My son is very fond of cars. I showed him a brand-new Tesla car being exhibited here during my video call, and he asked me to capture all of its details, both inside and out," said Azhar.

With the theme "openness leads development, cooperation creates a win-win future," the fair has attracted over 2,200 enterprises and representatives from 75 countries and international organizations, with the proportion of international participants exceeding 20 percent.

CIFTIS has become one of the world's largest and most comprehensive fairs for trade in services. It demonstrates China's active role in working with other countries to promote trade in services and drive global economic recovery.

Azhar said that the trade in services has become a critical driving force of globalization and Pakistan is sure to benefit from the fair.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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