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Pakistan, China sign 23 accords for cooperation in industry

The two countries also establish a $2.76 billion fund to invest in new

energy, modern agriculture and other

Pakistan and China on Friday signed 23 memorandum of understanding (MoU) and agreements to deepen bilateral cooperation in multiple areas including transport infrastructure, industry, energy, agriculture, media, health, water, socioeconomic development, and other areas of mutual interest. 

M Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Qiang witness the ceremony

The documents were signed after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang held delegation-level talks wherein they reaffirmed that the Pakistan-China Strategic Cooperative Partnership was characterised by mutual trust, shared principles, and strategic governance. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese Premier Li Qiang witnessed the ceremony as representatives from both sides signed the documents. 

Pakistan and China signed agreements for the co-production of films, and news exchange and cooperation. 

The MoUs were signed between Pakistan Television Corporation and China Media Group; on the feasibility studies of DI Khan-Zhob National Highway 50, Muzaffarabad-Mirpur-Mangla Expressway and Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway 9; and construction of a tunnel at Babusar on Mansehra-Chilas National Highway.

Both sides signed a document on modalities for third party participation in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor; MoUs on re-alignment of KKH, agricultural cooperation, and anti-monopoly cooperation; an action plan on implementation of 2022 Industrial Cooperation Framework; a protocol on surveying, mapping and geo-information in scientific and technical fields; and a study on the establishment of an effective energy management system.

Two countries signed Letters of Intent for workshops on capacity building on governance, and industrial park development; andhanding over certificate for Pak-China Friendship Hospital in Gwadar and Desalination Plant in Gwadar.

Both sides also signed Letters of Exchange for the reconstruction of primary schools in Sindh; the Lady Health Workers Workstations project; and Junaco Cultivation Demonstration and Projection project; besides an endorsement of the agreement reached in the 7th Joint Working Group to enhance cooperation under CPEC.

Since his arrival in China on a five-day visit, the prime minister has met with Chinese investors and businesspersons to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan.”

In the meeting and events including a Business Forum in Shenzhen, he encouraged the Chinese companies to invest and develop joint ventures.

Several MoUs have also been signed with Chinese companies in economy, green energy, textiles, and manufacturing.

Before he departed for a five-day visit to China, the prime minister had told the Chinese media in an interview that he would engage with Chinese business leaders to secure investments and yield dividends mutually beneficial for companies on both sides.

“We are coming with serious plans. We will engage with you and return to Pakistan with great dividends that will benefit Chinese and Pakistani companies and the two countries will have their relations strengthened and become much higher than the Himalayas or any other highest peaks and deeper than the deepest oceans,” he remarked. 

China, Pakistan set up $2.76b fund to invest in new energy

State-backed entities in China and Pakistan are setting up a 20-billion-yuan ($2.76 billion) fund-of-funds (FOF) to invest in areas such as new energy and modern agriculture as the two countries look to revive economic and trade ties.

The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), a Pakistani government-owned multinational commercial bank affiliated with the country’s central bank, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China-Pakistan International Silk Road Industry Investment Management to facilitate investment in key projects and promote industrial cooperation between the two countries, according to an official statement.

As part of the MoU signed on June 1, the two parties launched the FOF to invest in six main areas: housing industrialisation (including smart housing solutions), intelligent manufacturing, new energy, modern agriculture, commodity trades, and talent cultivation to explore growth opportunities in both countries.

The fund’s signing ceremony was completed just a few days ahead of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s scheduled visit to China from June 4 to 8 on the invitation of President Xi Jinping. Sharif’s China visit, which covers cities including Beijing, Xi’an, and Shenzhen, is viewed as a renewed push by the recently elected Pakistani government to strengthen its connection with the world’s second-biggest economy.

The FOF will finance the first batch of eight projects across the six sectors to promote “industry synergies” and “cultural exchange” between China and Pakistan, according to the statement quoting Ma Hongyu, vice chairwoman and president of China-Pakistan International Silk Road Industry Investment Management.

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