BEIJING           -         Pakistan and China are trying to bring their economic and trade relations at par with their political relations, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi said while sharing her view on the two nations’ future bilateral relations. In past, both countries have concluded agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, infrastructure, industrial cooperation and cultural cooperation, devising various mechanisms for their implementation. “I am satisfied to note that our cooperation has yielded positive results with mutual benefits,” she said in an interview with People’s Daily Online. Ambassador Hashmi said, thanks to the bilateral cooperation, Pakistan has succeeded in laying a robust and solid infrastructure network to support its growing economy and overcome festering energy shortages which stifled our growth.

“Both countries now look forward to build upon these gains, extending them to other unexplored territories and working together on an array of projects for the socio-economic uplift of the people of Pakistan”, she added. She said successful conclusion of Phase-II of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement has opened a new window to spur bilateral trade between the two countries, adding, “We are also determined to timely complete all ongoing CPEC projects and make it a high quality development project of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

The leadership of the two countries have forged the consensus that Phase-II of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would focus on poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, agriculture and the industrial development in Pakistan.

“We are devising policies to attract Chinese entrepreneurs for investment in above areas for a robust, inclusive and sustainable growth,” she said. Ambassador Hashmi said, the present government is also hopeful to make a positive headway in building Main Line-I railway project, which carries immense significance for Pakistan. “I am confident that with the strategic vision and guidance of leadership of our two countries; toil and labour of our respective departments and the support of our people, all our ideas and expectations for further development of all-weather bilateral ties would be materialized,” she added. She said, the year 2020 is significant as China is poised to achieve the important goals for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and putting an end to extreme poverty, with China’s success bringing more experience to developing nations like Pakistan. The Chinese model and subsequent success in poverty alleviation is worth emulation for developing countries like Pakistan, which are striving for national development and socio-economic progress.

“It has inspired us with a new hope that poverty is not ordained in man’s destiny and can be uprooted by dispassionate, concerted and sustainable efforts. Pakistan has taken a leaf out of Chinese experience and initiated its scheme for poverty alleviation suited to local conditions,” she said. Ambassador Hashmi remarked that the rapid progress and prosperity of China is not only a reflection of the vision and acumen of Chinese leadership but also a tribute to the toil and labour of Chinese people.

“I am confidence that China would continue its march of development and prosperity and would further contribute to global economic, ecological and social development,” she added. While acknowledging China’s efforts in tackling the COVID-19 sweeping the world, she noted that China is the first country hit by the virus and have since comprehensively controlled and curbed the epidemic. Soon after the spread, the Chinese government took immediate and effective steps to contain the viral outbreak to ensure the health and well-being of its citizens, she added.  On the international front, China displayed openness, transparency and willingness to cooperate with all parties to confront the novel coronavirus spread. These efforts are indicative of the importance it places, as a responsible major power, on matters of global concern and international cooperation, she further noted. The ambassador stressed that Pakistan wholeheartedly appreciates Chinese measures and would extend her complete support and assistance in this regard. The current situation calls for a greater international coordination and cooperation among the global community for curbing and comprehensively eliminating this menace, she added.