China International Import Expo (CIIE) will stimulate Sino-Pak bilateral trade, said Hussain Haider, Consul General of Pakistan in Shanghai. In an interview with China Economic Net (CEN), he said the just concluded CIIE provided business opportunities shared by the whole world. “As the first and the only expo dedicated to imports, CIIE provides tremendous opportunities to businesses from all over the world which serves as a very significant engine of trade promotion and development,” Hussain Haider said, and expressed appreciation for China and CIIE’s important role in re-energizing international trade during the global pandemic. “I was deeply struck by the broad range of products that were displayed from different countries. It was a very good experience of visiting CIIE,” he remarked. Looking forward to next year’s CIIE, he expects Pakistani enterprises to attach more importance to this Expo because it provides opportunities not only to showcase products to global audience but also to learn from other countries’ expertise. “I am living in China, and I can say that the sky is the limit as far as the quality is concerned. This mega event will definitely get even better and attract larger number of buyers and sellers.” At this year’s CIIE, Pakistan’s cherry exports to China are expected to start next year. “Agriculture is a strong sector in Pakistan, accounting for nearly 19% of Pakistan’s GDP and providing jobs to more than half of the labor force. Pakistan is rich in agriculture resources, and we export a lot of fruits to the whole world. It is good to see that Pakistani fruits are also coming to China,” Hussain Haider said. Besides fruits like mango and Kinnow, he also highlighted the great potential of exporting value added products such as juices and processed foods in large quantities to China. The second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement will play a key role in promoting bilateral trade. Entering into force on January 1, 2020, it has covered most of the products of both countries’ export interest. According to Hussain Haider, the FTA will also attract more Chinese investment flowing into Pakistan. “Because of the FTA, if Chinese entrepreneurs invest in Pakistan, they can import most of the Chinese equipment and machinery free of duty to Pakistan. After manufacturing in Pakistan they can export the products back to China at zero or very low tariffs. That’s a great advantage for Chinese investors,” he illustrated with examples. Moreover, the nine special economic zones (SEZs) under CPEC are also providing fiscal incentives for investment from China. “China is already the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Pakistan. Pakistan needs export-oriented FDI, and we believe no country is in a better position than China to explore export-oriented FDI into Pakistan,” Hussain Haider said. “Last year the Pakistani government announced e-commerce policy, which makes Pakistan one of the few countries in the region which have an e-commerce policy to facilitate online business’ growth,” he said. “With collaboration with China, it will be easier for Pakistani enterprises to enter the Chinese market via e-commerce platforms,” Hussain Haider said as he talked about the immense scope for bilateral cooperation in this area. “In CPEC Phase II we’ll see a lot of cooperation between China and Pakistan in agriculture. Particularly Chinese technologies can be instrumental in increasing the productivity and output of agriculture in Pakistan,” he added.