KUNMING (China) : Pak-China bilateral trade is likely to reach $14 billion by the end of next year, while improving its balance of payment position, said Pakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khalid. Talking to newsmen here, he said Pakistan’s export to China is showing upward trend, and the two countries are actively engaged in exploring new opportunities to strengthen their economic ties, that could match to their outstanding strategic partnership.

Chinese leadership he said was showing keen interest in bridging existing gap in our trade ties, and taking their mutual partnership in socio-economic sectors to new heights.

Talking about he ongoing 1st China-South Asia Expo, the ambassador said it provides a platform for Pakistani enterprises to create an interface and develop linkages with the Chinese companies and exhibitors from around the world, especially the South Asian countries.

Earlier, Masood Khalid while addressing the 8th China South Asia Business Forum said that Pakistan businessmen have put 170 stalls at the expo, displaying variety of products which made good business and attracted the Chinese side to import them in their country.

He pointed out that the cooperation between China and South Asia has made great progress since China became an observer in Saarc in 2005. The ambassador concluded by saying the future for the region is quite bright.

Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai said that China attaches great importance on expanding cooperation with Pakistan and other South Asian countries, so as to meet the common aspirations of their people for a better future.

Addressing the expo’s opening session, he said Pakistan services as economic corridor for China and its other neighboring countries and it has also a key role in the region for economic integration and connectivity, he said while addressing here the opening session of the first China-South Asia Expo, that was attended by a number of political and economic leaders from the regional countries.

Pakistan was represented at the Expo by Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman Pakistan-China Institute and Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khalid. .

Ma Kai referred to recent visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Pakistan and said it has opened new avenues of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Some new initiatives were taken to deepen their socio-economic interaction. The expo, he said provides an important platform for upgrading economic interaction between the two countries. “ We welcome businessmen from the South Asia countries to promote their business in China.