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Express Tribune

Published Date: Mar 28, 2021

Cooperation between Sialkot, China stressed

Sialkot has done tremendously well as an economic growth sample, however, some gaps still need to be bridged, said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade CEO Hassan Daud Butt.

Addressing a webinar, titled ‘Branding Pakistan: Complementarity through the development of innovative export market of Sialkot’, Butt requested Chinese entrepreneurs to consider the possibility of establishing joint ventures with Sialkot’s industry, which has a good setting and understanding of how to make the best use of the environment.

Acknowledging the contribution made by the chamber of commerce in promoting economic development, Butt proposed chambers between China and Sialkot to directly establish a mechanism, through which the process can move forward faster.

“IT skills should be added to enter a new era of artificial intelligence. Computers and the internet will directly link some cottage industries to markets in China and elsewhere,” the office-bearer added.

Shedding light on the importance of utilising existing platforms to boost Sialkot exports, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Business Platform Partner Peter Huang maintained that the Pakistani Embassy and consulates in China plays an important role in promoting bilateral trade.

“Chinese entrepreneurs prefer to seek partners recommended by the government agencies, and if government agencies get enough brand information, embassy or consulates will more easily recommend products to interested Chinese buyers or investors,” he stated.

Speaking on the occasion, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Joint Executive Director Vaqar Ahmed stressed that Sialkot’s engagement in CPEC can be deepened.

“Chinese delegations were not brought to Sialkot in large numbers, which hindered the growth of business-to-business partnerships,” he said.

Ahmed further added, “The business community sincerely hopes that while negotiating free trade agreements with China, they can get more consultation so that their products with competitive advantages can also enter China.”

Speakers present during the webinar stressed the significance of cooperation between Sialkot and the Chinese industry. They put forward recommendations including making full use of the existing platform, establishing joint ventures, strengthening the collaboration of chambers of commerce, developing e-commerce, and increasing the sczle of visits and exchanges.