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Shehbaz Arrives in China’s Tech Hub with Ambitious Plans

China’s Tech Hub

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in Shenzhen on Tuesday, marking the beginning of a five-day visit to China.

This visit, his first to China since the February 8 elections, is anticipated to inaugurate the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and see the signing of numerous agreements between the two nations.

In Shenzhen, a hub renowned for its innovation and technology, the prime minister met with Meng Fanli, party secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee, and the Deputy Party Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee.

According to a press release from the PM Office media wing, he also engaged with leading Chinese companies in the innovation and high-tech sectors.

Shortly after his arrival, Shehbaz Sharif expressed his admiration for the city’s skyline and development, which he said symbolized modern-day China, through a post on X.

“Looking forward to my engagements with the provincial authorities, business community, and industry giants here before proceeding to Beijing for official talks with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, and other Chinese leaders and high officials,” he tweeted.

During his visit, Prime Minister Shehbaz inaugurated the Pakistan-China Business Conference, aligning with his vision to foster collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese business communities.

A delegation of prominent Pakistani business leaders accompanied him to engage with their influential Chinese counterparts.

The Pakistani delegation included Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, Petroleum Minister Dr. Musaddik Malik, Information and Broadcasting Minister Attaullah Tarar, Food Security Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain, Commerce Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Privatisation Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, and Minister of State for Information Technology Shaza Fatima Khawaja.

Before his departure, in a televised statement, the premier expressed optimism that his visit would elevate the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China to new heights.

He emphasized that, with support from ministers, government officers, and experts, discussions with the Chinese leadership would cover a wide range of topics.

The discussions are expected to cover cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, information technology, infrastructure, youth skill training, vocational training, industrialisation, Special Economic Zones, and the expansion and commercialisation of Gwadar Port. Talks will also include mining and minerals and the expansion of the Silk Route through road and sea linkages.

In an interview with representatives of Chinese media groups, including Xinhua news agency, national broadcaster CCTV, and CGTN Urdu, Prime Minister Shehbaz highlighted the seriousness of Pakistan’s plans.

He expressed a desire to enhance interaction between enterprises from both countries, leverage Special Economic Zones, and utilize Pakistan’s labor advantages to establish joint ventures and facilitate industry and technology transfers.

He further outlined plans to learn from Chinese experiences in developing SEZs, with the first one to be developed on the Pakistan Steel Mills premises, which are already connected with the rail network and located near the port. He invited Chinese companies to build SEZs and form joint ventures with Pakistani firms for mutual benefits.

Additionally, the prime minister invited the Chinese textile sector to set up units in Pakistan and mentioned plans to persuade Huawei to launch short courses for Pakistani youth in information technology and artificial intelligence. This, he hoped, would enable them to open offices and offer services in Gulf states, sending remittances back to Pakistan.

Finally, by learning from Chinese agricultural technology, Pakistan aims to significantly increase its agricultural output and exports.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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