Pakistan Senate pledges continued support to China
July 20, 2021
The year 2021 marks two important landmarks of Pakistan-China friendship; the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and 70 years for the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China. A number of conferences, webinars, and festivities have been arranged throughout the year to mark both of these celebrations. In all of these, the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI)’s role has been of paramount importance. On February 11th, 2020 the Chairman of Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence, Senator Mushahid Hussain moved a resolution in the Senate to pledge support to China during its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This was followed by another resolution on 14th May, 2020 in which the Parliament thanked China for its continuous support to Pakistan in the fight against the pandemic. The resolution labeled the two as iron-clad brothers who had stood by each other in difficult times. Similarly, another letter was issued by the parliament on 18th June, 2021 in which all major political parties of Pakistan sent a congratulatory letter to the CPC as it celebrated its centenary. This letter was read out by Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman of Pakistan-China Institute during a webinar attended by top leadership of Pakistan and China.
ISLAMABAD (APP): Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Friday inaugurated a special immigration counter for Chinese nationals at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA).
He said the counter would provide the fastest immigration facilities to the Chinese nationals.
He said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) visa holders would also take benefit from the special counter. A separate category visa for CPEC was being issued by the interior ministry, he added.
The Federal Investigation Agency director general was also present on the occasion.
FM Qureshi arrives in China on two-day official visit
23 Jul 2021
CHENGDU, China, July 23 (APP): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived here on Friday on a two-day official visit to China.
Upon arrival at Chengdu airport, Qureshi, who was visiting China on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, was received by senior officials of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Minister will lead Pakistan delegation at the bilateral talks to be held in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province.
During the talks, matters relating to bilateral relations, cooperation in diverse areas, progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, availability of coronavirus vaccine, counter-terrorism, promotion of cooperation in the fields of defense and security and issues of mutual interest including the regional situation would be discussed.
Foreign Minister Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart will also hold a joint press conference after the delegation level talks.
During the visit, Foreign Minister Qureshi will also hold meetings with important personalities including Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Qureshi in a video statement said that his visit had special importance in further strengthening successful diplomatic relations established between Pakistan and China 70 years back and promoting high level contacts.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Thursday that enemies of Pakistan who wanted to create misunderstandings between Pakistan and China failed in their nefarious planning as China has announced to speed up work on Dasu dam.
Talking to media Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Pakistan was grateful to the Chinese government and people for their support in every possible way.
He said that investigation into the Dasu incident has entered its second phase.
The forces wanted to thwart the CPEC were behind the Dasu incident, the minister said.
ISLAMABAD (APP): Pak-istan and China Saturday reaffirmed their firm resolve to further strengthen their time-tested and all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with fresh dynamism and vitality.
Both reached a consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity and development in the region.
The reiteration was made during a third session of the foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue held in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan province, China.
In a joint press release shared by Foreign Office Spokesperson, said that both sides also discussed COVID-19 pandemic, peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and international and regional issues of mutual interest.
Both sides reviewed their cooperation on regional and international issues at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN Regional Forum, and agreed to deepen coordination and cooperation to safeguard mutual interests and uphold principles of fairness and justice.
“Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation,” it was added.
Both sides underscored that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in the common interest of all countries.
China has always given priority to Pakistan in its international anti-pandemic cooperation, especially in vaccine cooperation, and will continue to enhance its support to Pakistan with regard to vaccines. FM
Pakistan to export mobile phones by Jan 2022, with Chinese assistance
July 29, 2021
While talking to a parliamentary panel, the advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak said that Pakistan will begin exports of mobile phone by January 2022. He also said that two Chinese companies will be leading the imports as they have already set up their factories. One of the companies is Samsung to which the government as already allowed a number of incentives.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will start export of mobile phones by January 2022, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood informed a parliamentary panel on Tuesday.
The senate standing committee on commerce, chaired by Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, also grilled the commerce ministry for poor performance, sharing obsolete information about Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) and absence of the commerce secretary from the meeting.
Dawood informed the committee that Pakistan will start export of mobile phones by January 2022 and two Chinese companies will take the lead. One Chinese company has set up industry in Karachi.
He said that Samsung was asked twice to set up a factory in Pakistan and was also offered incentives but it refused. Now, when two Chinese companies have set up their factories, Samsung approached the government for incentives, said Dawood, adding that now the company will have to set up factory on already available incentives.
During the meeting, Dawood also clarified that a couple of months ago rice exporters had informed him that China had halted Pakistani rice after detecting coronavirus (dead virus) on the surface of plastic packing bags. This issue has been resolved and 80% consignments are cleared.
The virus was also detected on Pakistani seafood consignments reaching China but the virus inside the packing material of consignments was alive. Last month nine companies were banned and this month restrictions have been imposed on six Pakistani companies. The commerce ministry has asked companies to get sanitary and phytosanitary inspection of their consignments.
Executive Director General Syed Rafeo Bashir Shah informed the committee that Chinese companies have tasked Maritime Fisheries Department to inspect seafood consignments destined for China which has not performed well. Now the commerce ministry has adopted a harsher tone with the Maritime Fisheries Department.
In a separate statement issued by the commerce ministry, it clarified that Pakistani export consignments of rice were detained for port inspection and detections but were later on released after conformity with the Chinese government protocols. China has not banned any rice exports from Pakistan, it added.
Senator Danish Kumar informed the committee that Chinese, Korean and Japanese trawlers are fishing in Pakistan waters illegally due to which local fishermen are facing hunger like situation. He said, “Pakistan’s seafood exports can earn $2 billion per annum if incentives are given to local industry.” He suggested that local fishermen be given modern technology for fishing also proposed restrictions on fishing by foreign fishermen.
Expressing dismay at the absence of the commerce secretary, some Senators maintained that they travelled from Karachi and Quetta for the meeting, but the secretary did not bother to attend it. They further stated that the briefing given on the commerce ministry’s performance and future strategy is like a film which they have watched for years.
Senator Kumar and Senator Ahmed Khan walked out of the meeting in protest against absence of Commerce Secretary Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui, who, according to the commerce additional secretary, was in Karachi to discuss important issues related to Expo 2021.
Senator Fida Muhammad requested the committee chairman to write a letter to the Senate chairman on the attitude of commerce secretary.
Director General (Trade Policy) Waqas Azeem briefed the committee on STFP 2020-25, saying that the targets of two previous trade policies were not based on ground realities as export targets were too high which could not be achieved. He said that the main focus of both policies was on three markets including China and European Union (EU).
He maintained that exports have posted growth because orders of other countries were diverted to Pakistan due to Covid-19 situation.
However, when committee members sought details of orders which were diverted to Pakistan, the DG declined to share the information on the plea that exporters do not share buyers’ information with the ministry because they fear that the information may be leaked to their competitors.
Additional Secretary (Trade Policy) Ahmed Mujtaba Memon claimed that the incumbent government reduced energy rates for five export-oriented sectors for the first time in the country’s history even though the first time energy rates were reduced was during PML (N) government.
The committee members enquired if reduced rates of energy for the export-oriented industry, is subsidy, to which Dawood replied that it is actually cross subsidy. He added that globally energy tariffs are lower for export industry but in Pakistan it is not so.