Milestone in Pak-China Friendship- Pakistan outperforms at the CIIE 2018

The first ever China International Import Expo was held during the first week of November, 2018 at the National Convention & Exhibition Centre in Shanghai. Under the theme of ‘New Era, Shared Future’ the Expo aimed at strengthening global economic cooperation and trade.

This event was the first of its kind, a country-level expo based on imports, that included business exhibitions, country pavilions and high-level parallel forums. More than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries were present at the expo. The expo offered a chance for global manufacturers and producers to showcase their products in order to gain access to China’s market. It also served as an opening for countries participating in the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative to boost their infrastructure and reach wider markets.

The twelve guest countries of honor, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Egypt, Russia, the UK, Hungary, Germany, Canada, Brazil, and Mexico, set up booths featuring their unique characteristics and sent high-level government delegations to represent them at the expo. The Chinese government granted Pakistan the status of “Guest of Honor” at the China International Import Expo. The gesture also shows the level of commitment on behalf of China to make Pakistan a part of a shared future. Pakistan was also an active participant, so much so that Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the opening ceremony of the Expo as the keynote speaker.

The country pavilions were exhibits set up by each participating country individually, where they showcased all they have to offer. President Xi Jinping visited the Pakistani pavilion titled “Emerging Pakistan” where he was welcomed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Chinese president was accompanied by other world leaders, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who remained at the stall for some time and discussed the trade potential with Pakistani officials. On the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan explained the new government’s environment-friendly policy and initiatives taken by the country in this regard. The Pakistan Pavilion was very well received by everyone and it invoked further international interest in the myriad of opportunities Pakistan has to offer.

The event was as big as it gets and Pakistan shined throughout with one of the best rated digital Pavillion which was praised by all visitors and representatives from various country pavillions.

Apart from the CIIE, another event that took place in Shanghai was the Trade and Investment Conference 2018 , organized by the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce and the Government of Pakistan . Led by senior officials including Imran Khan and Pakistan’s ministers of finance and commerce, the conference aimed to boost trade and investment between the two countries. Addressing Pakistan Trade and Investment Conference 2018, Prime Minister said China has progressed to great heights under visionary leadership of President Xi Jin Ping.

He spoke of the one billion trees project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and also shared how the government planned to plant ten billion trees during the next five years. Seconding the premier, Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha said Pakistan has one of the smallest carbon footprints but is still playing an important role and making efforts to deal with climate change.

He also briefed the dignitaries about the theme of the pavilion, which represented five important trade sectors of Pakistan.

Pakistan is projected to become the world’s 20th-largest economy by 2030 and the 16th-largest by 2050 in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a framework for regional connectivity, connecting the Middle East and South Asia with China and Central Asia. It will develop the region’s potential for investment, trade and energy creation. This will turn Pakistan into a regional corridor for trade and energy and a hub for investments on the global value chain.

Pakistan and China are developing stronger ties in the rapidly evolving global order. Their geopolitical interests are aligned more than ever and bilateral trade has increased significantly since CPEC was initiated. Hence such events help strengthen global ties and open more avenues.