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December 22, 2010

Private sector fails to exploit Chinese PM’s visit


December 22, 2010

LAHORE: China is the most reliable and an all-weather friend of Pakistan and Pakistan should revise its relationships with its global friends and prioritise those who supported it in time of need.
It is also proven that the West and the US never help Pakistan and proved to be fair weather friends and always used it for their own interests in all spheres of international relations, ranging from politics to economy.
The government has failed to get advantage from the visit of Chinese prime minister to Pakistan as no arrangements had been made to start business ventures by the private sector.
These views were expressed by the participants of the Jang Economic Session on the topic ‘Chinese Prime Minister’s Pakistan Visit: Chances of Extended Economic Ties’ here on Tuesday. The participants were President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Shahzad Ali Malik, Director Pakistan Study Centre Punjab University Dr Mussarat Abid, former President Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) S A Hameed and Chairman Pak-China Economic Relations Committee Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce Industry (FPCCI) Siddiq-ur-Rehman Rana.
Shahzad Ali Malik said the ‘Islamabad Show’ of the Chinese prime minister was not successful and the government missed the chance to exploit full potential from this visit. He said a number of Chinese State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), including automobiles and others, did not accompany the Chinese prime minister, which showed their trust deficit on Pakistani political leadership. He said Pakistan was an agro based country and by adopting Chinese agriculture technology, the per acre yield in Pakistan could be increased, which would also be helpful in poverty alleviation. He said Pakistan had delayed to strengthen the Pak-China relationship. He supported availing Chinese professional and technical support for infrastructure development in coal and water resources. He suggested Pakistan must increase its

foreign relationship with China and forget about the US, which had always ditched it. He said some Islamic countries became hurdles in the development of Gawadar Port and now was the time that Pakistan openly announces bilateral agreement with China to exploit the potential of this port. He said according to official figures, the bilateral Pak-China trade stood at $7 billion while independent sources claimed it to be $4.5 billion. Now the target of bilateral trade between the two countries is fixed at $15 billion by 2015 and to achieve, this there is a need to end under invoicing and reduce the trust deficit between the private sectors of the two countries, he added.
Dr Mussarat Abid said that Pak-China relations always remained uncontroversial despite irresponsible statements given by Pakistan against China many times on behalf of the US and Western world. She said Chinese prime minister declared 2011 as the Pak-China friendship year, which was a proof of the long lasting strong relationship between the two countries. She said the credit of this friendship went to Chinese leadership and governmen. She said China was the first country, which bailed out Pakistan in first economic crisis when it faced coal supply shortage in 1950. She said China supported Pakistan in self reliance and economic projects as compared to the Western world, which only gave loans and burdened the economy. She said that only agreements and joint ventures with China benefited Pakistan more than the rest of the world.
Siddiq-ur-Rehman Rana said the share of China in global economy would touch $6 trillion out of total $43 trillion compared to $13 trillion of US, $5 trillion of Japan and $3 trillion of India. It is expected that China would touch the US economy by end of 2025.
He said that growth pattern of China and India must be followed by Pakistan to maintain pace with regional economies. He said China developed infrastructure and heavy duty industry in the first 30 years, which was later handed over to the private sector. He said Pakistan got windmill expertise from China for energy generation. He was of the view that the media and public must keep asking the government about the MoUs and Joint Ventures signed with China in the present visit so that pressure on the government was maintained to mature these agreements.
S A Hameed said that MoUs and Joint Ventures with China in the present visits would prove a bailout package for Pakistan if the government successfully materialised it by focusing on infrastructure development. He said in 60 years of Pak-China friendship, Pakistan benefited from Gwadar Port, Karakoram Highway, Heavy Mechanical Complex and many defence related projects. He said the US by engaging Pakistan in the war against terror caused over $45 billion loss to our economy while the government was daily borrowing Rs2 billion from the central bank. He said Pakistan must follow the Chinese economic framework and needed a sincere leadership and reliance on its own resources and self respect.

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