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PM Khan’s visit reaffirmed strategic partnership with China: FO

ISLAMABAD: The foreign office on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan has concluded his official visit to China from 25-28 April.

In a handout issued by the FO, the prime minister was visiting China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping to attend the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) and the opening ceremony of the Beijing International Horticulture Exhibition 2019.

Premier Khan delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRF on 26 April 2019 and attended a banquet hosted by President Xi Jinping for the world leaders the same evening.

In his statement during the first session of the roundtabel – “Boosting Connectivity to Explore New Sources of Growth” – the premier inter alia proposed four new areas for Belt and Road cooperation, i.e: digital connectivity, mobility of labour, cultural connectivity and sharing best practices in knowledge and innovation.

High-level meetings

PM Khan, accompanied by federal ministers and senior officials delegation, separately met President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on April 28.

Earlier, the prime minister and his delegation were hosted to a banquet by Vice President Wang Qishan on the evening of April 27.

During these meetings, the two sides reviewed the entire range of bilateral relations including CPEC. They reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthen the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership in all dimensions.

Both sides discussed important regional and international issues, including peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and peace and stability in South Asia and agreed to deepen cooperation at the multilateral fora.

On the sidelines of the BRF, PM Khan had meetings with other world leaders including from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Ethiopia and Kyrghyz Republic. He also held meetings with Managing Director of International Monetary Fund and the CEO of the World Bank as well as corporate and business representatives attending the BRF.

The prime minister was accompanied by a high-powered Ministerial delegation which included the Foreign Minister, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Minister for Energy, Minister for Railways, and Advisors on Commerce and Finance as well as Chairman BOI. These Ministers and Advisors represented Pakistan at the Belt and Road Thematic Forums on 25 April 2019. They also interacted with their Chinese counterparts and Ministers from the BRF participating countries.

Signing of MoUs

Following the meeting with Premier Li, a ceremony was held to sign a number of memorandum of understandings  (MoUs) between the two sides, including the conclusion of the 2nd Phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and an agreement on ML-1.

China-Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum

On 28 April, PM Khan addressed a China-Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum bringing together a large number of Pakistani and Chinese entrepreneurs.

The Forum, which was attended by Vice Chairman of National People’s Congress Mr. Zhang Chunxian, provided a platform for the participants to explore the immense business and investment potential of Pakistan. The business-to-business meetings on the sidelines of the Forum resulted in signing of 14 agreements.

Horticultural Expo 2019

Another important highlight of the visit was the opening ceremony of the Beijing Horticultural Expo 2019, where PM Khan interacted with President Xi Jinping and other participating world leaders.

The prime minister visited the Pakistan Pavilion set up to showcase the country’s plant biodiversity.

The foreign office said the prime minister’s second visit to China provided an important opportunity to exchange views with the Chinese leadership on bilateral and regional issues; to coordinate on the implementation of Phase-II of CPEC that includes industrial cooperation and socio-economic development; and to invite Chinese businessmen and investors to explore the immense potential of Pakistani market.

PM Khan’s visit and his extensive exchange of views with the Chinese leadership, once again, affirmed the vitality of the time-tested, all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, which remains unaffected by any adverse regional and international development, and continues to move from strength to strength, the FO added.

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