Speakers at a round table meeting on Pakistan-China Economic Cooperation have urged Pakistani government to accelerate its efforts to remove all concerns, obstacles and problems faced by Chinese companies in Pakistan.

The meeting was arranged by Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) in capital Islamabad and was attended by PCI chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, former prime minister and PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain along with a number of representatives of local and Chinese firms, and members of different think-tanks.

A Chinese businessman described the difficulties being faced by his company due to rising inflation, taxation, red tape bureaucracy, political instability and law and order situation.

Mushahid assured to work together with different stakeholders to strengthen the Pakistan-China economic cooperation and stressed the need of eradicating bureaucratic red-tape culture to speed up the projects implementation.

He also wished that the two friendly countries increase cooperation in the modern technology sector.

The participants appreciated the idea by Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif to set up “China Center” at the PM Secretariat in Islamabad in an attempt to directly monitor the development on projects run by Chinese companies in Pakistan.

Chief Editor of Pakistan’s prestigious English daily Express Tribune M. Ziauddin, who chaired the meeting, said it’s matter of pride that we have brotherly relations with China but we should go one step ahead of emotions to focus on real economic issues.

“Everybody in Pakistan say ‘Long live Pak-China Friendship’ but in real we see our bilateral trade is not at the level where it should be. Both countries should focus on the problems that are affecting and hampering the trade and economic cooperation,” said Ziauddin.

Director of Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad Fazalur Rahman talked about the challenges faced in the development of the Kashgar Economic Zone, saying it has solid meaning for Pakistan and Central Asian countries.

Other participants focused on opportunities and challenges in Pakistan’s new emerging economic ties with China, and also urged Pakistani government to start research work and develop the capacity to increase trade.

The idea to establish “Pak-China Investment Fund” was also furnished in the meeting that was highly appreciated by the participants and majority of the speakers termed the proposed fund as new blood for Pakistan’s local industry and other businesses.

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