Beijing: A delegation of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) arrived in Beijing to explore possibilities of enhancing exports to China. Pakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khalid hoped that rice exporters will utilise the opportunities China has to offer and contribute in taking Pakistan’s export trade trajectory further upward.
He expressed these views while addressing a reception for the delegation of REAP, led by Chela Ram, senior vice chairman of the association. Khalid said the Pakistani embassy was making every effort to deepen the commercial and trade ties between China and Pakistan and the current visit will complement those efforts.
He pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has set out a very clear and coherent vision to expand Pakistan’s business, trade, financial and commercial ties with China.
“China is set to invest billions of dollars worldwide in the next few years, as China’s ICBC bank has opened its branches in Pakistan,” said the envoy. “Along with this, we have a free trade agreement, currency swap arrangements and such steps will help promote economic ties between the two countries.”
Khalid said that the country was constantly striving to improve its technological and agricultural capacity to increase volume of its rice exports in the face of stiff competition from its competitors and its rice quality matches the highest international standards.
“I believe that with China’s assistance, Pakistan can achieve a great deal of economic transformation.” Khalid said.
Regarding the REAP delegation’s meeting scheduled for Monday with the China Oil and Food Corporation (COFCO), Khalid said the COFCO is the largest supplier of diversified products and services in the agricultural products and food industry in China.
He said the Cofco serves as the main importing and exporting channel in China for bulk agricultural products such as wheat, corn, rice and sugar.
He said that in 2012 Pakistan exported rice worth $268 million to China. Out of that COFCO imported 70%, all IRRI-6 variety.
The REAP delegation also planned to travel to other cities, including Guangzhou, to deepen trade cooperation and coordination with their Chinese counterparts.