Moot: (Pakistan-China Business Friendship Conference starts today)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-China Business Friendship Conference, organized by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the Board of Investment and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), will commence from today (Monday) till Friday.

A 100-member Chinese delegation will take part in the conference which will be attended by prominent Pakistani businesspersons, traders and executives of Chinese companies working Pakistan.

Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal and Ambassador China to Pakistan Sun Weidong will inaugurate the Conference today (Monday).

The first leg of the Conference will be held here from today (Monday) to Friday from where the delegates would travel to Lahore for a day where business-to-business (B2B) sessions with prominent CEOs and senior executives of top companies headquartered in Punjab will be organized by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

The Punjab Government will arrange field visits for the delegation to major industrial areas. At the last leg of the visit, the delegation would proceed to Karachi, where Pakistan Business Council (PBC), with support of Government of Sindh and TDAP, would host an event, which would include B2B sessions with premier Karachi based businesses on January 21 and 22.

The Chinese delegates will explore trade and investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, textiles, agriculture, renewable energy, privatization, engineering, information and Communication technologies and mining sectors.

Ministry of Commerce, LCCI and PBC will send invites to matching 100 to 120 eminent Pakistani businesspersons to the events in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, respectively.

China is Pakistan’s major trading partner with volume of trade reaching an all-time high of US$ 12.299 billion in 2014-15. The two countries signed the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) on 24th November 2006, which became operational from 1st July 2007.

Later, a Free Trade Agreement on trade in services was also signed on 21st February 2009 and is operational since 10th October 2009. Prior to signing of CPFTA the volume of trade between the two countries was in vicinity of US$ 4 billion out of exports from Pakistan were US$ 575 million.

Over the years the trade volume has leapfrogged to US$ 12 billion with Pakistan exports bourgeoning to US$ 2.1 billion in 2014-15, a more than three and a half times increase.

The signing of MoU on China-Pak Economic Corridor will provide have evoked a lot of interest in the prospective trade and investment opportunities arising from this game-changing project among the Chinese and Pakistani businesses. A special session will be dedicated to present the contours of CPEC in detail and the investment opportunities which may arise from it.