“As the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) enters the second phase of high-quality development with a focus on agricultural and industrial cooperation, China will introduce more Pakistani agricultural products to China,” remarked H.E. Nong Rong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, on the China-Pakistan Agricultural Products Processing Cooperation and Exchange Forum held on June 23.
While addressing the forum, Mr Hassan Daud Butt, CEO of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment & Trade (KP-BoIT), said, “Pakistan has a rich repertoire of agricultural resources and with improved infrastructure and favourable policies under CPEC, China and Pakistan hold great potential for cooperation in agricultural products processing.”
On the forum, Chinese and Pakistani experts discussed potential bilateral cooperation in areas including honey, dairy, tea etc.
According to Mr Zhao Guangpei, Chairman of Anhui Wangchao Food Co. Ltd, China has been the largest exporter of honey products in the world and produced the world’s premium honey products. Against this background, “we have to import a lot of honey raw materials from abroad and Pakistani honey raw materials may have a huge market in China because of their high contents of sugar and premium varieties,” said Mr Guo Qi, Supply Director of Beijing ZhiFengTang Health Science and Technology Co., Ltd.
However, the Pakistani honey sector has suffered from a lack of up-to-date technologies which greatly restricts the production of honey, revealed Mr Jehanzeb, an expert on the honey sector. In response to this concern, Mr Li Dingshun, President of the Beijing Aojinda Bee Products Cooperative, introduces the bee-keeping training programmes, which is also replicable in Pakistan.
Bilateral cooperation in the dairy sector is also promising. “Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of livestock in the world. But we meet the challenge of increasing the production of beef and dairy products while reducing the costs,” commented Mr Shehzad Amin, CEO of the Pakistan Dairy Association. This could be aided by Chinese investors who are equipped with advanced equipment and technologies, and can also help cultivate a large market for Pakistan, said Mr Sher Bahadar, an expert on livestock and dairy sectors.
Mr Muhammad Khurshid, representative of tea plantations in Mansehra, said that China-Pak cooperation in the tea sector holds great potential because with technologies transferred from China, Pakistan will see enormous economic and environmental benefits in the commercialisation of the tea industry.
Speakers have also reported the potential cooperation in areas of olive, coconut, tobacco, potato and aqua and fishing products.
“I hope the Chinese and Pakistani experts will collaborate on devising feasible plans to help translate our rich repertoire of resources into exports and income,” said Mr Shah Farman, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To facilitate such cooperation, Chinese associations will also lend a helping hand. “We will promote China-Pak agricultural cooperation through a wide range of services including providing accurate, up-to-date information, offering guidance and training sessions, and organising business-to-business communication and investigation,” noted Ms Liu Yadan, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Agricultural Association for International Exchange.
The forum was also attended by Mr Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, Mr Abdul Karim Khan, Special Assistant to CM-KP on Industries and Commerce, Mr Muhammad Israr, Secretary Agriculture & Livestock Department of GoKP, Mr Ali Salman, Executive Director of Policy Research Institute of Market Economy, Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Dr Tang Minmin, Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Mr Atif Hanif, Pakistani Expert on Olive, Mr Fawad Aziz, Pakistani Expert on Fishery and Aquatic Sectors, Mr Hu Baigeng, General Manager, Xisen Potato Industry Group Co., Ltd, Mr Shiraz Akram, President Swabi Chamber and Expert on Tobacco Sector and Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman.
Source: China Economic Net