China CG visits FPCCI and discusses matters of mutual interest and CPEC

Imran Zakir

KARACHI: Li Bijian, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Karachi today visited Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry along with Economic & Commercial Counsellor Guo Chunshui and other team members
They discussed the matter of mutual interests and the state of affairs in CPEC with President FPCCI Nasser Hyatt Maggo. Javed Ilyas, Chairman, Pak China Business Council, Vice Presidents Hanif Lakhani, Nasir Khan and Amjad Rafi, former President KCCI were also present in the meeting.
However, he pointed out various hurdles being faced by business relations between Pakistan and China. He complained against the safety and security situation for Chinese businessmen and people working here. There were no consistent economic policies by the government in Pakistan. They announce one policy at breakfast and change it before lunch. This situation was quite alarming. He said that lack of basic infrastructure here was also harming our trade and industrial relations. Karachi is the largest port city of Pakistan that suits us in promotion of business activities. Also unskilled labour is damaging the business environment. We spend our money, effort and time in training the labour but after some time they change their loyalties. The Consul General further stated that in Gwadar government had not built any power plant, which is the main problem to develop that place rapidly. However, China is establishing its own electricity sources there which will take time.
Earlier, President FPCCI Nasser Hyatt Maggo in his welcome address disclosed that Pakistan and China are close friends but our trade figures were not reflecting this trend in a better way. There were many hidden tariff barriers imposed on trade with Pakistan. We don’t have direct relations with importers in China. He stressed that China should give Pakistan its due share in Chinese imports. So Pakistani businessmen should also benefit from exports to China.
Javed Ilyas, Chairman, Pak China Business Council said that after signing FTA II in year 2019 total bilateral trade between us was $18 billion. Out of this, Chinese exports were $16 billion while imports from Pakistan were only $1.9 billion. China imports lot of things from other countries but from Pakistan our businessmen complained against many barriers that must be relaxed. For example, Pakistani beef is the cheapest in the world but Chinese authorities have imposed quarantine restrictions. The same beef is exported to Vietnam in bulk and from Vietnam it enters into China without any restrictions, Maggo said.
Amjad Rafi, former President KCCI in his address pointed out that Pakistani Basmati rice was best in the world and well demanded in Europe too. Indian Basmati was banned in the EU and Pakistan exported $2 billion Basmati last year but Chinese authorities had imposed quota on Basmati rice. If Pakistani exporters are allowed for free dealing in China the trade ratio could be enhanced many times, he added.
The Consul General informed them that they want to make huge investments in Pakistan. On 21st May they will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pak-China friendship and diplomatic relationship. On 7th April the Ambassador of People’s Republic of China will visit the FPCCI Head Office to discuss trade and industrial relations with its members.

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