KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce (SFIC) to form a joint working group and build a platform for trade and economic exchange, a statement said on Friday.
The MoU, which also focuses on strengthening information sharing, promoting corporate exchanges, regular consultations and evaluations, was signed by KCCI Senior Vice President Saqib Goodluck and SFIC Senior Vice Chairman Shi Dengding during the Shanghai-Karachi Economic & Trade Exchange Webinar.
Commenting on these developments, Zubair Motiwala, Chairman of BMG & Former President of KCCI, said, “Even though Pakistan and China have enjoyed very good relations, the business communities of the two countries should focus on further strengthening trade and investment relations by conducting joint ventures. in various sectors of the Pakistani economy, particularly infrastructure development and the energy sector as Pakistan is already facing a severe shortage of gas ”.
He pointed out that in 2019, Pakistan exported $ 2 billion worth of goods to China, while imports from China totaled $ 16.2 billion, representing a trade deficit of $ 14.1 billion.
“Trade cooperation between the two countries’ business communities must be strengthened and enhanced in such a way as to turn Pakistan’s $ 16 billion worth of imports from China into US $ 16 billion worth of exports to China which is only possible if we make collective efforts,” he added.
Motiwala said total trade with China increased 300 percent to $ 18.2 billion in 2019 mainly due to the China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement; however, while imports from China are growing rapidly, Pakistani exports are unable to make a similar advantage in China which is a matter of concern.
“If we look at the trade figures for the last seven years from 2013 to 2019, exports to China have decreased by 26 percent in 2019 compared to 2013, while imports have increased by 47 percent in 2019 compared to 2013. China’s share in Pakistan’s exports and imports has also continued to increase, although the share China in Pakistan’s imports has grown much faster than its share of exports, “he added.
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