ISLAMABAD: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that his country takes its trade imbalance with Pakistan seriously and is taking measures to address the issue.
Premier Li, who arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday morning on a two-day official’s visit along with a high-level delegation to foster further the existing time tested Pak-China friendly relations, said in an interview with Pakistan media that there is great potential to be tapped in economic cooperation between the two countries.
Li said there was still “great potential” for the relationship. Bilateral trade last year rose above $12 billion for the first time and both sides are aiming to reach $15 billion in the next two or three years.
“Our two sides should focus on carrying out priority projects in connectivity, energy development and power generation and promoting the building of a China-Pakistan economic corridor,” Li said.
“I wish to reiterate solemnly China’s continue firm support to Pakistan in its efforts to uphold independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Li said in a possible reference to India and to the United States, which angers many with drone strikes targeting militants in Pakistan.
Premier Li said political bond between Pakistan and China is unbreakable and our business ties as a whole have maintained growth.
He said Pakistan is the first South Asian country to sign a free trade agreement and currency swap agreement with China‚ and it is the largest destination of Chinese investment in South Asia.
Premier Li said China will step up consultation with Pakistan on second phase tax reduction negotiations under the framework of China-Pakistan Free Trade Area.