The Chinese investment in Pakistan’s entrepreneurial sector is booming, and in a fresh development, a group of 50 Chinese investors has pledged an initial investment of $50 million in Gwadar to establish an end-to-end supply chain facility for export of seafood to China. This happened when Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was in Beijing to mark the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China. He met his Chinese counterpart Wang Pei in Beijing on Sunday, and discussed the possibilities of boosting trade between the two sides in the sectors of defense, trade, economy, investment, and health. Meanwhile, the supply chain facility, equipped with a high-tech processing facility, will be set up in the industrial zone of Gwadar. The facility aims at processing fishing products for their export to China. Pakistan, despite being blessed with rich marine life, lacks facilities to tap and export its fish. The Chinese project will not bring foreign-direct investment but will also create jobs for the locals of Gwadar and Karachi. Other than fish products, the facility will expand to the export of beef and goats to China. This is a good investment step from China in Pakistan, and would help Pakistani exports to China, which need to be enhanced.
In the 71 years of friendship, both China and Pakistan have always stood firm to protect each others’ interests at all forums. In the last meeting of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the Chinese foreign minister insisted on resolving the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India in accordance with the UN resolutions, while maintaining its permanent support to Pakistan. Apart from bilateral relations, regional and international issues of mutual interest were also discussed in detail during the meeting. According to the joint statement, the two sides agreed that Pakistan-China strategic relations have become even more important in view of the profound regional and international developments. The two sides agreed to work together to make the best use of the second phase of CPEC and to work together to enhance cooperation in Pakistani export-oriented sectors and to diversify trade relations while integrating the value chain. Also, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari thanked China for the safe return of Pakistani students who were stranded in China after the coronavirus outbreak, which was a very troubling issue for many Pakistani families but could not be resolved under the previous government. This visit of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto to China after the change of government in Pakistan is of special significance.