Lahore   -        Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir on Sunday observed that Pakistan offers ample opportunities of trade for Chinese businessmen in almost all the sectors or sub-sectors of economy to become closest trading partner of China. While talking to Chinese Lahore Consul General Long Dingbin along with the PIAF delegation here at Chinese Consulate, he said that in the context of ongoing project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the importance of private to private contacts had mounted, and in this scenario, trade and industrial associations role has widened.

He mentioned Lahore has a special significance being the hub of business activities in Punjab. Both public and private sector organizations were striving hard to fully exploit trade and investment potential of Punjab in collaboration with foreign investors, he said and added that China was first choice for Pakistani businessmen to join hands for joint ventures. He appreciated the Chinese Consulate for opening up the first visa application service center in Lahore recently to facilitate applicants wishing to visit the country.He called it a landmark step, as earlier residents of Lahore had to travel to Islamabad to apply for a visa to China. This new place will provide enormous relief to businessmen and visitors. Lahore is an important city and the new hub of economic activity in Punjab, he added.

He said that Pakistan is looking Chinese businessmen for making joint efforts aimed at boosting bilateral trade and economic relations. PIAF chairman, who is also former LCCI senior vice chairman, hoped the state-level cooperation between two countries would bring greater fortune to both.

He said that status of two-way trade was bound to improve in a decade or so because once the CPEC project became fully functional, a win-win situation would take place for Pakistan and China. In the meantime, we need to interact on regular basis for exploring avenues for trade expansion and opportunities for investments, he added. He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor promises greater fortunes for Pakistan and it would certainly prove to be a game-changer. Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan and China, being geo-political partners, had very cordial relations.

Be it electricity generation, infrastructure development, technology transfer, knowledge sharing or joint venture projects with Chinese firms, Pakistan knows that tomorrow is bound to get better than today. He said that China was well positioned to take advantage of Pakistan's economic potential and its geo-strategic location, asserting, "Let us make trade and investment the central pillar of this cooperation."

On this occasion, Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin underscored that limitless opportunities existed as a result of CPEC's execution and emphasized that Pakistan needed to bring about far-reaching reforms in various socio-economic sectors to get maximum advantage of CPEC. He also highlighted China's experience of miraculous reforms that changed the destiny of China.

The both sides emphasized that greater synergies may be created to deepen linkages between Western China and Pakistan. They noted that rising cost of labor in China as well as labor shortages were an opportunity for Pakistan to devise attractive policies which can help relocation of Chinese industries to Pakistan.