BEIJING  -   China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai is a great opportunity to continue to strengthen trade ties between China and Pakistan, and the Pakistani enterprises are believed to seize this opportunity, Economic and Commercial Counselor in Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Wang Zhihua said on Wednesday.

“The Pakistani can make full use of this platform to let Chinese enterprises and consumers better understand Pakistan’s advantageous products, so as to bring more Pakistani products and services into the Chinese market and add new impetus to bilateral trade and economic and trade cooperation,” he said in an interview with CRI.CN (Chinese Edition).

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held in Shanghai. Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead a high-level government delegation to attend the opening ceremony and deliver a speech.

Wang Zhihua said that Pakistan attached great importance to the Expo and would bring its competitive products to the Expo.

In recent years, especially since President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Pakistan in 2015, the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries has been further enhanced, and bilateral economic and trade cooperation has entered a new stage of development.

At present, China has been Pakistan’s largest trading partner, a source of imports and destination of export for four consecutive years.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that about 40 businessmen from Pakistan will showcase their products at the first ever import expo.

China has given Pakistan the status of “Guest of Honor” at the event, and local Pakistani analysts believe that the expo will act as a much-needed platform for Pakistan to display the strongest of its commodities to the outside world.

Arsalan Ayaz, a political analyst associated with Rawalpindi-based think tank Measac Research Centre, said that Pakistan would have a great chance to get benefit from the expo as financial experts from across the world are expected to attend the event.

“It is an excellent chance for the country to present its soft image through this event. A large number of foreign investors will be attending it, so it will be a great chance for the Pakistani government to woo them back to seek investment opportunities in the country,” he said.

While commenting on the prime minister Imran Khan meeting with a visiting Chinese delegation headed by Song Tao, chief of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, in Islamabad earlier this month, the analyst said Khan’s voters have high hopes that he will take useful measures to support the staggering economy, so this is the right time for him to grasp the opportunity and explain his export-friendly policies, and his strategies for trade and economics, through the CIIE.

“If he can seize the opportunity, it will be a landmark achievement for him,” Ayaz said.

In a press talk earlier this month, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said the CIIE could also play a part to overcome trade imbalance between Pakistan and China.

He assured that the Chinese embassy in Islamabad would fully facilitate the Pakistani businessmen to avail the opportunity.

Pakistan’s Secretary of Commerce Younus Dagha also told Chinese media that they are looking forward to exporting textile and agriculture products to China through the CIIE.

He noted that the Chinese economy was growing and the purchasing power of the people was increasing, so Pakistani products could find a great market there. Ayaz said that Pakistan is an agro-based country, so Pakistani products like rice and cotton, and other products like leather and textiles have a massive potential in the Chinese market.

“This expo will encourage Pakistani businessmen to go and seek opportunities in the Chinese market, and it will further enhance the bilateral relations and cooperation, and brotherly relations will further be translated into economic cooperation,” he said.

The expert said it is not an export expo but an import expo, and China is inviting the outside world to invest and bring their products to China.