BEIJING: On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque said that the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China and the Pakistani exports to China would set new records by the end of this year. “China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner besides being the second-largest export destination and this year especially despite the pandemic, our bilateral trade is growing a big percentage, especially the figures of this year,” he told China Global Television Network (CGTN) in an interview. He informed that in the first three quarters, the bilateral trade between the two countries has grown mostly by more than 60% and Pakistani exports to China have grown by 75%. “So, we are hoping that by the end of this year, both the bilateral trade volume and the Pakistani exports to China would have a record and unprecedented figures,” he added.” “The bilateral trade volume is US$ 20 billion but we are hoping that this year, it will touch $25 billion. Pakistan exports have been around US$ 1.8 billion, but this year, we are hoping that it will reach US$ 3 billion but still, we feel that we can double this number in the next four to five years,” he added. To further enhance Pakistani exports to China, he recommended that textile and sports goods are the strongest sectors in Pakistan and could play an important role. “Pakistan is one of the few countries which have whole value chain of the textile industry from weaving to finishing and textile products are very well known. Pakistan is the largest producer of footballs and Pakistani footballs have been officially used in the football world cups,” he added. About the role of the China International Import Expo to help promote the Pakistani market in China and the world, he said that during the last four years, CIIE has been a very important platform and it has given exposure to Pakistani traders and businessmen to showcase their products to the world’s largest market. Responding to a question regarding China’s role in further opening up for foreign investment in Pakistan, he said, “In the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), we have opened up the respective markets and deepen the access to our traders.” Now more than 1000 products enjoy of tariffs line which means that thousands of products enjoy duty-free access to each other market so it’s a big boost to bilateral trade between Pakistan and China, he added. Ambassador Haque remarked that in the future, Pakistan would like to add and expand the free trade agreements going into the services sector because services sectors for both Pakistan and China forms the major portion of the GDPs of the two countries. “Earlier, it used to be agriculture, industry, but now services sector is the backbone of the economy. So, we would like the services sectors to be added in our future negotiations with China,” he added. About further growth in China Pakistan bilateral economic and trade cooperation, he said that the most important part of phase two of CPEC covers areas of agriculture especially modernization of agriculture and science and technology in Pakistan. In the recently held meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee of CPEC, both the countries decided to establish a working group on Information Technology, Industry, industrialization cooperation besides setting up special economic zones across Pakistan “We are inviting Chinese investors and companies to set up their manufacturing plants in Pakistan,” he added.