Pakistan has awarded Zhong Shan, Minister for Commerce with the “Hilal-i-Pakistan” award in recognition of his outstanding services towards Pakistan and strengthening of Pakistan-China relations. According to Gwadar Pro, Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque conferred the “Hilal-i-Pakistan” civil award of Pakistan upon Mr. Zhong Shan, on behalf of the President of Pakistan at a special Investiture Ceremony held at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Speaking at the ceremony, the Ambassador said the award recognized Mr. Zhong’s contributions as a great friend of Pakistan and an ardent advocate of Pakistan-China friendship. In his capacity as Minister for Commerce, he had been instrumental in promoting the 2nd phase of the Pakistan-China free-trade agreement, which came into effect at the start of 2020 and facilitating Pakistan’s active participation in headline events such as the China International Import Expo and the 17th China-ASEAN Expo. Mr. Zhong stated that the award was not only a personal honor bestowed by the President of Pakistan but also a symbol of the trust and confidence Pakistan reposed in the time-honored all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. China’s Ministry of Commerce would continue to deepen economic and trade ties with Pakistan. The ceremony was preceded by a meeting during which it was agreed to further promote Pakistan-China trade and economic relations in line with the consensus of the leadership of both countries and for the benefit of the two peoples.