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November 6, 2018

Pakistan and Russia agree to up strategic relations

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November 6, 2018

SHANGHAI: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Monday agreed on strengthening bilateral relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and Pakistan.

Both the leaders held meeting in Shanghai on Monday on the sidelines of International Import Expo in Shanghai. Prime Minister Imran Khan invited Dmitry Medvedev to visit Islamabad. Medvedev congratulated PM Imran on assuming charge of the country, sources said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would serve as a vital link for the two countries to the Middle East and Central Asian Republics and open fresh investment avenues, new markets and vistas.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Prime Minister Imran Khan said as the Belt and Road Initiative gives shape to a global community of shared interests, this expo will help spread dividends of freer trade, among more closely integrated economies.

Imran Khan, who is on a four-day official visit to China on the invitation of President Xi Jinping, is in Shanghai on the second leg of his visit, where Pakistan has set up a pavilion to showcase its products.

Imran said the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan merges into a network of modern highways that are part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and link to the deep sea port of Gwadar -- where it converges with the Belt and Road. He said this would not only have an impact on Pakistan, but also on the economies of the entire region.

The prime minister said the CPEC shall cut distances and costs, bringing much needed resources to producers, and new products to consumers. "CPEC is a mechanism to forge even closer connectivity between the Middle East and China, and between Central and South Asia." He said Pakistan was a leading exporter of sports goods, medical instruments and IT products and with a promising 100m human resource, under the age of 35, the country has a rich potential, and was an attractive place for foreign investors.

Imran said his government has initiated deep and meaningful reforms to ensure transparency and accountability and provide seamless smart solutions for the government and the people. "We are committed to improving our framework of transparency and accountability, leveraging technology for seamless, smart solutions for business and governance." He said Pakistan was blessed with an abundant array of resource ranging from mineral riches to fertile lands, to the wealth of renewables and the most diverse landscape with 12 climate zones. "Our industry is already producing high-end textiles, sports goods, engineering goods, IT services and medical technologies including surgical instruments. But by far, our greatest and most promising resource is human. We have 100 million Pakistanis below the age of thirty five, a young vibrant population."

He said the New Pakistan will be a more conducive and a more competitive place for transacting business. Imran said "at a time when the international trade system is under attack, when unilateral commercial benefits are being sought aggressively by some, and when protectionism is on the rise, we take great comfort in President Xi’s courageous affirmation: “The doors of China’s Opening Up will never shut; but will only open ever wider.”

The prime minister expressed his gratitude to the government of China for the warm hospitality and participation in the Shanghai Expo. Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan and other world leaders at the opening ceremony of the Expo.

Around 172 countries, regions and international organisations from five continents are showcasing their development achievements and international image at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE).

More than 3,600 companies from different countries will hold discussions and seek common development with over 400,000 purchasers from China and overseas during the event.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday visited the Pakistan Pavilion at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai and took great interest in the products of Pakistan displayed at the pavilion. The Chinese president was received at Pakistan Pavilion by Prime Minister Imran Khan, members of the cabinet and chief minister Balochistan.

President Xi, who was accompanied by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, was briefed by Secretary Commerce Mohammad Younus Dagha, a press release issued by the PM Media Office here said. Dagha briefed the dignitaries about the theme of the Pavilion which represented five important trade sectors of Pakistan. He informed that textiles and apparels employ 38% of industrial workforce with 8.5% share in GDP and make up for more than 70% of Pakistani exports with leather and made ups, for many international brands. The last two FIFA world cups, including the one this year in Russia, were played with Pakistan-made footballs.  

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