Pakistan Consul General, Shanghai, Hussain Haider said that 2021 has been an excellent year for Pakistan-China bilateral trade. Driven by China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement Phase, Pakistan exports to China have increased more than 76pc year-on-year in the first three quarters despite the pandemic. “We believe that by the end of this year, our exports to China will cross $3 billion and that will be one of our highest-ever exports to China,” he said in an interview with China Economic Net (CEN). Expressing pleasure over Pakistani businesses’ expansion in the Chinese market via the CIIE, he said that China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner. He said that it’s always our priority to take effective participation in the CIIE. This is a very good opportunity for Pakistani companies to further benefit from the enormous Chinese market as well as the liberal import policy of the Chinese government. “We would like to thank the Chinese government for making excellent arrangements. It was a very successful event,” he said. Hussain Haider said that at this year’s CIIE, Pakistani textiles including carpets, handicrafts like Himalaya salt lamps, jewelry and agricultural products, etc. were in display online and offline. Especially, the Himalaya salt lamp became a hit that drew many Chinese visitors, consumers and media at the expo. “The Himalaya salt lamp is an exclusively Pakistani product, only produced in Pakistan. I also read some news about these salt lamps gaining attention in China. We hope these products can have a lot of demand in the Chinese market”, he added. Meanwhile, at the expo, information and communication technologies of the emerging sector were highlighted in Pakistan’s national pavilion. All of these depict Pakistan’s potential export growth engine. Looking into the future, Pakistan’s global textile exports are over $13 billion. We see large potential in the Chinese market for more value-added textile products like home textiles, garments for ladies, children and men”, Hussain Haider said. Besides, value-added leather products, agriculture products including rice, mangoes and citrus, etc. also look to further grow in the Chinese market in the days to come. And there’s a lot of potential of Pak-China cooperation in the sectors of information and communication technology, as well as tourism after the pandemic ends,” he added. Benefitted from the FTA Phase, now increasingly more Pakistani enterprises are trying to enhance their presence in China. Hussain Haider made suggestions as to how Pakistani companies could better benefit from the largest consumer market in the world. “Increasing the use of e-commerce and other digital tools particularly live streaming is an innovative strategy that Pakistani businesses need to adopt. In China, e-commerce platforms are very popular and powerful in the product sales, and live streaming is quite important in product promotion,” he remarked. As China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered the second phase, focusing on improving Pakistani people’s livelihood, much progress is expected to reach in agriculture and vocational education. “Agriculture currently is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, which needs to be modernized. Chinese expertise and investment can play an important role in the greater agricultural mechanization and modern technology usage to increase the productivity of different crops in Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistan has a very large labor force of about 65 million. “We are working on different proposals to increase the bilateral cooperation on promotion and development of vocational and scientific education to improve the vocational skills of our labor force,” he concluded.