ISLAMABAD, (NNI): Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar Tuesday expressed the resolve to continue broadening economic cooperation through increasing investments from China, enhancing cooperation in agriculture sector and expanding market access for Pakistani exports.

Taking floor to the Upper House of the Parliament, she said bilateral trade in 2021 stood at US$ 27.8 billion which needed to be further enhanced through mutual cooperation.

In economic arena, she said China remains Pakistan’s largest trading partner. In January 2020, Phase-II of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) was operationalized which liberalized trade and enhanced trade volume between the two countries. China also remains Pakistan’s largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Apart from political, she stated that economic and strategic relations, Pakistan and China also enjoy close cooperation in health sector. There has been exchange of high-level visits despite constraints posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan and China extended support to fight against COVID-19 pandemic through provision of medical relief goods and strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to fight COVID-19, said the State Minister.

She said Pakistan’s foreign policy towards China has been gaining momentum through sustained engagements between the leadership, extension of diplomatic support at multilateral fora and careful nurturing of all facets of bilateral relations.

As close friends and partners, she said both countries have multi-faceted bilateral cooperation in diverse fields such as in economic, political, defense and cultural areas.

Both the countries Khar maintained that have close collaboration in defense and security domain and frequent meetings at the highest level. Comprehensive public diplomacy strategy includes promotion of cultural exchange, people-to-people relations, tourism programmes and multitude of other outreach initiatives. NNI


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