Syed-Fakhar-Imam-1Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Friday held a farewell meeting with outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and appreciated his contributions for fostering ties between the two countries. It was also decided that China will assist in developing date processing plants and onion cold storages in Southern Balochistan. Syed Fakhar Imam acknowledged the existence of expanding friendly relations between the two friendly countries. He reiterated the importance Pakistan attaches to its relations with the People’s Republic of China. He stated that the high level visits from both sides have opened up new horizons for our bilateral cooperation – particularly in the field of agriculture by signing MOUs and agreements. He mentioned that the remarkable contribution of Yao Jing for the growth of bilateral cooperation in all spheres has further strengthened our brotherly relations. He appreciated ambassador’s efforts to push bilateral cooperation within economic framework under the China – Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He mentioned Yao Jing’s substantial contribution for the growth of our bilateral cooperation particularly in the field of agriculture.Syed Fakhar Imam acknowledged his efforts to appoint an Agricultural Counselor in the Chinese Embassy, which has helped in effective coordination in all areas of agricultural cooperation. He appreciated out going ambassador interest and persistent help in Pakistan’s efforts to fight against locust and COVID-19. He mentioned that CPEC will go a long way to further strengthen our relations as well as development of Agriculture and livestock sector in Pakistan. The agricultural cooperation bourgeoned as Yao Jing personally visited the Minister and the Secretary of the NFSR recurrently after assuming his office. “He made himself always available for a meeting on a very short notice. It was possible through his efforts that the two sides concluded an MOU on Agricultural Cooperation between the MoNFSR (Pakistan) and MARA (China) during the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Beijing in November 2018.” This MOU provided a new impetus to agricultural cooperation and paved the way for signing of a framework agreement on agricultural cooperation during the visit of the Chinese Vice President to Pakistan in May 2019. The Framework Agreement enabled agricultural cooperation to take full benefit of the CPEC, various zones under CPEC and the financing available under the CPEC.The ambassador induced his side for a working level meeting between the two sides to kick start process for the JWG. Accordingly, a working level delegation of Pakistan led by Senior Joint Secretary (MoNFSR) visited Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs (China) in July 2019.First China – Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation was held on 30th October, 2019 at Serena Hotel, Islamabad. The forum provided a platform for B-2-B interaction with participation of leading business enterprises from both sides and conclusion of private sector related MOUs i.e. MOUs between CMEC (China) and Fatima Group (Pakistan). First meeting of China – Pakistan JWG on Agricultural Cooperation was held on November 01, 2020 at Islamabad. Following to the first JWG meeting, Yao Jing persuaded his government to appoint an Agricultural Diplomat/Counselor who can facilitate coordination for early harvest projects as well as long term cooperation projects. Subsequently, Chinese Government appointed Dr. Gu Wenliang as their first ever Agricultural Counselor/Second Secretary for a period of three years at Chinese Embassy, Islamabad. MoNFSR prepared and shared the draft Plan of Action on Agricultural Cooperation. Chinese Embassy is continuously following up this with their Authorities for its early finalization. The ambassador and Dr. Gu Wenliang followed up with their side for the visit of the Chinese Quarantine inspectors to meat processing units and to grant market access to Pakistani cherry, potato and onion.Yao Jing pushed Chinese authorities to dispatch a delegation of experts on locust to visit Pakistan in February, 2020 on the expense of Chinese Government to provide technical assistance to Pakistan for controlling locust. He facilitated Pakistan by provision of free of cost assistance around USD 4.94 million in the shape of 300,000 liters of malathion pesticide and 50 sprayer equipment with free of cost online trainings. The equipment was also provided in three batches to Pakistani by air and sea at the arrangement of Chinese side.