BEIJING: China and Pakistan are looking to further enrich their business ties in areas, including multimodal goods transport, high-end manufacturing, renewable energy sources and other service sectors under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Both the economies have deployed a large number of resources into regional connectivity, manufacturing, and modern agriculture, and they are strong supporters of the multilateral trade system and investment growth, said Sun Xiao, director-general of the multilateral cooperation department of the Beijing-headquartered China Chamber of International Commerce, according to China Daily on Monday.
“They have been defending openness as a means of progress, job creation and global economic recovery since 2008,” he said.
Trade between China and Pakistan amounted to $13.2 billion in 2017, accounting for 16.4 percent of Pakistan’s total foreign trade, according to the data from the China Council for the Promotion of International Tradeshow.
China mainly exports raw materials, computers, telecommunication equipment, trucks, chemicals, medical equipment, plastic and rubber products, textiles and household appliances to Pakistan.
While Pakistan’s shipments to China include minerals, cement, optical and medical equipment and accessories, garments and agricultural products.
China will promote cooperation between the customs and quarantine authorities of both countries to facilitate the further opening-up of its agricultural product market to Pakistan, said Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan.
“China will, under the framework of free trade cooperation between the two countries, provide a larger market share for Pakistani goods, and strengthen cooperation and facilitate trade between China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region,” Yao added. “The country also will take further visa facilitation measures to encourage more Pakistani businesspeople to visit China.”
Eager to further enhance their business ties, a new rail and road cargo service was launched in late October, linking Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, with Islamabad in Pakistan.
Trains transport goods from Lanzhou to Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and they are then transported to Islamabad by the highway. The 4,500-kilometer trip takes 13 days, about 15 days less than the traditional maritime route.
China and Pakistan also launched a direct rail and sea freight service between Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, and Karachi in 2016. Each trip can transport up to 500 metric tons of consumer goods and commodities.
Pakistan remains China’s biggest destination for outbound direct investment in South Asia.
Experts said Pakistan has become a destination with growing attraction for Chinese companies because of the opportunities it offers as a convenient marketplace to the Middle East and Africa, as well as a developing platform for many countries and regions to boost the growth of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Ministry of Commerce said that Chinese companies such as Power Construction Corp of China and China Unicom had invested $5.71 billion in the neighboring country by the end of 2017, mainly in energy and infrastructure development, telecommunication, manufacturing, and financial services.
China will firmly promote industrial cooperation, expand its direct investment in Pakistan, and encourage Chinese companies to actively participate in the development of special economic zones, said Wang Dongtang, deputy director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Commerce.
“The focus of the cooperation will be to upgrade Pakistan’s manufacturing capacity and expand its export-oriented industries,” he said.
Zhu Feng, dean of the Institute of International Relations of Nanjing University, said Pakistan has been an enthusiastic supporter of the initiative since its initial participation.
The country aims to act as a regional trading hub between partner countries and regions committed to the initiative. For Pakistani companies, the initiative also offers a lucrative economic opportunity.
“Moreover, the initiative will expand export markets for Pakistani companies and offer opportunities to bid on construction projects in many parts of global markets,” said Sang Baichuan, a professor of international trade at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
China to remain top market for Asia-Pacific economies
LONDON: Despite a recent decline, China will remain the prime destination for Asia-Pacific (APAC) exports for several years to come, the British think tank Oxford Economics said today.
According to Oxford Economics researchers, APAC economies have been highly integrated with China’s economy since the country’s WTO accession in 2001. Given their geographic proximity, APAC countries even have stronger trade links with China than with the rest of the world.
“While China has become a principal final destination for many APAC exports, what’s more striking is that China is also the largest import source for most APAC countries,” they said in a study.
China plays an increasingly significant trade role for Asian countries such as India or Vietnam, which strive to increase income level and stimulate industrial development.
“Participating in Asia’s supply chain and penetrating the Chinese market are key to helping industrial sectors succeed,” the report added.
Meanwhile, trade dependence on China is also growing outside of Asia, the report showed.
“Resource-rich emerging countries outside of Asia, such as Chile, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, have high export intensities with China, exporting large amounts of energy and commodities there,” it said.
The researchers added that these countries’ “export intensities with China are even higher” than those of many Asian countries.
Furthermore, countries “such as Russia and Argentina have higher import than export intensities given that they import even larger amounts of manufactured goods from China compared to the energy and commodities they export,” it said.
China busts online fraud rings
BEIJING: Chinese police have nabbed 36 suspects in a series of fraud cases targeting middle-aged and elderly people on the Internet, said the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) at a Press Conference today.
The police accused the suspects of luring victims into joining fake poverty-reduction foundations and science projects with forged official documents and stamps. Chen Shiqu, deputy director of the criminal investigation bureau under the MPS, said the fraud rings specifically targeted their victims, most of whom were middle-aged and elderly people, by setting up group chats on popular messaging platforms such as WeChat and posting false information.
Chen also warned the public to watch out for false information posted on the Internet and in mobile applications. The police did not reveal how much money was swindled out of the victims, but a total of 2.73 million yuan (404,000 U.S. dollars) involved in the cases were frozen.
Tokyo’s Nikkei index closes up one percent
TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index jumped nearly one percent today as investors welcomed a weak yen and a broader rally in Asian shares.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.96 percent, or 195.59 points, to close at 20,555.29 while the broader Topix index was up 0.85 percent, or 12.99 points, at 1,542.72.
Tokyo shares opened lower after a public holiday the previous day with the market weighed by fears over a slowdown in the global economy following disappointing Chinese trade data.
Figures released on Monday showed drops in China’s exports and imports, fuelling fears of a global slowdown and sending world stocks slumping.
But shares entered positive territory by noon as the yen gradually declined against the dollar, boosting investor sentiment.
The dollar bought 108.69 yen in afternoon trade against 108.17 yen in New York on Monday afternoon.
Investors were also encouraged by gains in Chinese and other Asian shares, brokers said.
“Investors continued buying back shares which fell sharply recently,” said Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato.
“There still is room for buying as the market is recovering from the recent plunge,” Sato told the Media.
In individual stocks trade, Hitachi added 7.08 percent to 3,583 yen after soaring 8.63 percent on Friday as risk-averse investors welcomed a report in the Nikkei business daily that the company had decided to freeze its plan to build a nuclear power plant in Britain.
Olympus, which jumped nearly 10 percent on Friday following the appointment of a new CEO, added 17.47 percent to 4,705 yen.
IT investor SoftBank Group gained 0.14 percent to 7,709 yen, and Nissan edged down 0.19 percent to 903.7 yen.