Pakistan-China trade can reach $15 bn: Gilani

Pakistan and China bilateral trade can reach the target of $15 billion in the next three to four years, Gilani said.

Islamabad: Pakistan and China have the potential to enhance economic ties, and bilateral trade can reach the target of $15 billion in the next three to four years, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Sunday.

Gilani was talking to China`s Executive Vice Premier Li Keqiang, as the two leaders met in Boao, China, on the sidelines of Boao Forum for Asia, Online news agency cited a statement from the prime minister`s office in Islamabad as saying.

Gilani said the Pakistan-China friendship was based on mutual trust and respect, and remained a cornerstone of Pakistan`s foreign policy.

He said that bilateral trade last year increased by 22 percent to $10.6 billion. Pakistan`s exports to China doubled from $1 billion in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2011, he said.

Pakistan was committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms and strategic and defence cooperation was an important component of the partnership, he said.

Islamabad greatly valued Beijing`s economic support and assistance, and wished to promote closer collaboration in agriculture, irrigation, energy, infrastructure development, railways and security sectors, Gilani said.

He said Pakistan was looking forward to Chinese cooperation in the energy sector, including hydro, thermal, alternative and civil nuclear energy.

The prime minister appreciated Chinese assistance in the wake of massive floods in the country.

He said Pakistan wants to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours, including China, India and Afghanistan. He also mentioned the resumption of dialogue with India.

Gilani is in China to participate in the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2012.

The BFA came into being in 1998, formed by a group of Asian leaders. It operates as a non-official non-profit organisation committed to enhancing cooperation between the Asian economies.

Gilani will address the opening session April 2. He will speak on "Asia in the changing world: Moving towards sound and sustainable development".


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