|Much Scope for China-Pak Collaboration|
|Article by Consul General Mr. Ma Yaou Published on Express Tribune|
The Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee was concluded in November. The session caught world attention and entered the central spotlight after numerous reports and commentaries poured in. The core decision endorsed during the session (also referred to as "the plan") vowed to build a more open economy and made tangible arrangements for further opening up, which were set to provide new vigor and momentum for further development.
China began the reform and opening-up drive in 1978. It has achieved galloping economic growth in the last 35 years, and Chinese society has witnessed significant changes and progress. However, Chinese economy is at a new starting point as it is undergoing a growth slowdown and sticky structural adjustment in recent years. Domestically, the Chinese economy could not continue with its model of growth because of ever-growing restraints on resources, energy and environment, as well as rising labor costs. In addition, a lot more progress is needed in the transformation of government functions and establishment of various intermediaries. Internationally, there have been significant changes in globalization, pattern of world trade, and competition and cooperation of global industries.
Global communities, especially developing countries, have higher expectations on China's development and on cooperation. Meanwhile, developed countries have made increasing requests on China in protection of intellectual property rights and market access. In this context, we ought to open up further to avoid stagnation of the Chinese economy.
The plan said China would open up further to the outside world by lowering investment threshold, stepping up the development of free trade zones and increasing opening up of inland and border areas. Then what will Chinese government do in this context?
Firstly, more work will be done to expand the opening up of inland and border areas. The government of China is going to encourage border areas to conduct more trade and other economic cooperation with neighboring countries, so that local industries such as manufacturing, logistics and tourism will bloom.
Secondly, Chinese government will work to widen market access for foreign investors, speed up unifying laws and regulations for both domestic and overseas investors and endeavor to keep investment policy stable, transparent and predictable. China will open finance, education, culture and medical care to foreign investors in an orderly manner and at the same time lift access restrictions for foreign investors in child-care and old-age care, architectural design, accounting and auditing, commercial logistics and e-commerce. The manufacturing sector will also become more open.
Thirdly, more efforts will be made to optimize the structure of foreign trade and to build up export competitiveness by focusing on technology, brand, quality and service.
Fourthly, the government will work to integrate multilateral cooperation with regional and sub-regional cooperation and step up the development of free trade zones.
It is estimated that in the next five years, China will invest an additional $500 billion in other countries, import over $10 trillion of products and send 400 million tourists abroad. The development of China will bring more welfare to our neighboring countries with special focus on old friends like Pakistan.
As we all know, people of Pakistan are working on their "Asian Tiger Dream" to achieve a vigorous economic and social development. While Chinese people are at the same time striving for the "Chinese Dream", with the aim of accomplishing a further development of the nation. China and Pakistan are two highly complementary economies with huge potential for a deeper cooperation. At present, the growth of friendly cooperation between China and Pakistan is embracing new opportunities. The blueprint of building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in particular, is of great significance and broad prospect.
As two major countries with regional and global influence, China and Pakistan have much to offer for each other and the spaces for collaboration remain huge thus I see no reason for us to make any delay for seizing this opportunity and take full advantage of our traditional friendship to pursue a wider cooperation. China stands ready to join hands with our Pakistani brothers and make fresh efforts to create new chapters in our bilateral relations and strive for a common progress.