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Govt delegation to seek relocation of Chinese industry to Pakistan in Trade-Balancing Effort

A delegation from Pakistan is scheduled to arrive in China on Sunday, led by Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz, in a bid to address the increasing trade imbalance between the two nations. This marks the first visit by a commerce minister, accompanied by a high-profile business delegation, aiming to initiate talks on Monday.

Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz highlighted the trade gap, revealing that China exports $20 billion to Pakistan annually, while Pakistan’s exports stand at a mere $2 billion per year. Over five years, this translates to a total of $100 billion in imports from China compared to only $10 billion in exports from Pakistan. The absence of a negotiated Free Trade Agreement is cited as a key factor contributing to the lower level of Pakistani exports.

Ejaz is setting ambitious targets for the delegation, aiming to relocate 10% of the Chinese textile industry to Pakistan to generate $50 billion in exports. He emphasized the potential for achieving $100 billion in exports through enhanced collaboration with China.

The commerce minister stressed that the next phase of Pakistan’s trade relationship with China will involve private businesses. The delegation plans to visit Suzhou City, a significant industrial hub in China, and Ejaz will participate in the World Trade Organisation’s ministerial meeting virtually. He also aims to inform Chinese investors about the Special Investment Facilitation Council.

Beyond textiles, the visit will encompass discussions on various sectors, including agriculture, electric vehicles, marble, cement, fertilizer, fruit, vegetables, home appliances, glass, and chemicals.

Earlier in the month, Minister Gohar Ejaz had announced the finalization of a Free Trade Agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council. The pressing issue of a current account deficit in the Pakistani economy remains a focal point, prompting efforts to secure lasting solutions through engagements with the International Monetary Fund and other international lenders.

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