Caretaker commerce minister, business delegation leaves for China

ISLAMABAD-Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce and Industries Dr Gohar Ejaz has left for China with a high-profile trade delegation. Dr Gohar Ejaz, Minister of Commerce, will visit China along with a high-profile business delegation. The visit is a follow-up to the visit of the Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar in October this year. The sectors covered in the delegation’s visit include agricultural, electric vehicles, marble, cement, fertiliser, fruit & vegetable, home appliances, glass, chemicals and textiles.
This multi-segmental delegation representing the business sector of Pakistan will hold meetings with their counterparts in China for trade and investment and formation of joint ventures. On the sidelines of the official visit, B2B meetings have been arranged for the members of the delegation. In Beijing, the meetings are scheduled to be held with the officials of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, various product Associations, China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export. He will also meet with the CEO of the COFCO Group (which is a state-owned food processing holding company and China’s largest food processor, manufacturer and trader and Asia’s leading agribusinesses group).
A delegation from the Weifang Steel Group will also call on the minister. The company specialises in agritech, food processing, fertilizers and edible oil. The delegation will also visit Zhongguancun which is a major technology hub near Beijing and is also known as the China’s Silicon Valley. The minister is set to meet the management of Chengdu Century Intending Investment Management (CENTINCO) which is a comprehensive industrial investment management corporation. CENTINCO has shown interest in development of an Export Processing Zone in Gwadar.
The minister will also attend a Business Networking Dinner which is likely to be attended by more than a hundred Chinese enterprises. This will be followed by his online participation in the Min-Ministerial of WTO on special invitation of the UAE Commerce Minister. In a first, the delegation will also visit Suzhou City, which is situated close to Shanghai in Jiangsu province, and is a leading commercial and industrial hub of East China. This visit is a first by any Commerce Minister of Pakistan and any delegation from Pakistan. Ejaz will be received by government officials. This is a part of Ministry of Commerce’s strategy to engage at provincial level with major Chinese manufacturing hubs. Suzhou has a GDP of more than $300 billion. The imports of the city are $153 billion while exports are $230 billion. It has several enterprises which are looking to relocate to other countries.
Apart from the meetings, the delegation would visit the Changshu Garments Town at Suzhou. Ejaz would also take part in the unveiling of the Changshu ‘One Belt and One Road’ Centre. Speaking to media before leaving, Minister Ejaz highlighted the importance of private sector collaboration as the next step in strengthening the Pak-China relationship. “SMEs are the key to Pakistan’s prosperity and progress” said Dr. Ejaz. The commerce minister will also brief the Chinese investors about the crucial role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in streamlining their investments. “Pakistan is focusing on sectors such as agriculture, mining, new energy, and IT under the framework of the SIFC” said Dr. Ejaz.

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