ISLAMABAD - China wants to expand and promote Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan, Chinese Deputy Head of Mission Lijian Zhao said on Wednesday.

Addressing at the Regional Conference on 'Connectivity and Geo-Economics in South Asia' here, Lijian Zhao said China was interested in exploring more trade opportunities with Pakistan.

The Chinese diplomat expressed confidence that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would result into regional connectivity for the benefit of not only Pakistan and China but all neighbouring states.  However, he stressed the need for further improvement in matters related to the CPEC for its effective implementation.  Lijian Zhao called for settling the cross-border issues between the two countries and mentioned that Korakoram Highway and construction of Karachi motorway were significant.

He said China was providing educational scholarships to Pakistan at a large scale and the number of Pakistani students studying in China was greater as compared to those in the United States and Europe.  Director Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) Amir Rana said CPEC would prove as a confidence-building measure among the regional countries.

He said cooperation among the regional States was important in ensuring peace.