China International Import Expo (CIIE) has reaffirmed the China’s commitment to open its borders to the outside world and aligned with the vision of the Belt & Road initiative. This was stated by Shaikh Muhammad Shariq, chief representative of National Bank of Pakistan in Beijing, according to a report published by China Economic Net (CEN) on Tuesday. He was addressing the Industrial Investment and International Financial Cooperation Forum held at the Expo. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and People’s Bank of China (PBC) made the currency swap arrangement in 2011, for three years, amounting to 10 billion yuan and 140 billion Pakistani rupees. As a result of this, he said bilateral trade and investment witnessed significant growth and contributed to further strengthening the close and special relationship between the two countries and this was the second currency swap agreement that Pakistan had signed with any country. “In 2018, the swap was extended for a period of three years, and the size was doubled to 20 billion yuan or 351 billion Pakistani rupees, as China became the largest trading partner, and the bilateral trade increased on a yearly basis”, Shaikh Shariq added. Shariq told CEN that in 2018, the Long Term Plan (LTP) of CPEC was launched which turned China-Pakistan bilateral relations into long-term strategic economic partnership and the scope of the cooperation was extended in various new areas, including the financial sector. He further said that on the regulatory side, it was decided to strengthen cooperation in financial regulation, by promoting monetary cooperation between the central banks, research to expand the amount of currency swap. This explored to enrich the scope; promote settlement in domestic currencies to reduce the demand for third-party currency. ICBC & Bank of China, Karachi branches are providing RMB clearing & settlement services in Pakistan. “In 2018, National Bank of Pakistan joined the Belt & Road Bankers Roundtable initiative launched by ICBC to provide financial support to the projects in Belt & Road Countries. I had the honor to sign that agreement with ICBC on behalf of my bank” he stated. Shariq expressed that CIIE 2020 is more significant due to the fact that it has been held during the time when the world is passing through a very critical phase of Covid-19. The lockdowns have halted the world’s economy and countries closing their borders to the outside world, seriously affecting the global supply chains. “To overcome the effects of Covid-19, global cooperation, especially, in the field of finance is a must, as no country in the world can fight against this pandemic alone”. Addressing through video link Dr Ishrat Hussain, Advisor to PM and Former Governor of State Bank, Pakistan said that China should take advantage of Pakistan’s cheap labor and Pakistan can take advantage of Chinese technology & capital which would create a win-win situation for both countries.