Pakistan sets sight on China’s $100b imported food market

BEIJING: Pakistan sets sights on China’s $100 billion imported food market, since it has rich potential of producing export-oriented agricultural products, says a report.
Reviewing the overall scope of China-Pakistan cooperation in agriculture sector, the report says Pakistan is amassing a large amount of idle land to build a China-Pakistan agricultural demonstration base and introduce China’s advanced agricultural scientific facilities and technologies. Promoting bilateral cooperation in the agricultural industry will boost bilateral agricultural development and exports, and bring the Belt and Road Initiative to new levels, noted Liu Yadan, Vice Secretary-General of China Agriculture Association for International Exchange. She also said, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, its affiliated research institutes and some agricultural units have already cooperated with Pakistan in areas of planting and processing, cattle and sheep disease prevention and control, and cotton cultivation.
Apart from favourable policies, well-established infrastructure also adds lustre to Pakistan as an investment destination. Thanks to the infrastructure, which has been put in place under the first phase of CPEC, the barren border areas have now surged into a logistics powerhouse for Pakistan and KP’s economic crops such as tobacco, olives, tea, date palms and honey could quickly reach ports and airports for exports, remarked Hassan Daud Butt, CEO of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment & Trade. As further bonuses, the KP government will provide potential Chinese enterprises with subsidies in land lease and reductions in corporate income tax, transportation fees and import and export tariffs. “We hope that Chinese companies will establish foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) -free areas as soon as possible and invest in food processing industrial parks, slaughterhouses, agricultural special economic zones in KP, especially in the less developed areas, which will provide a great return on investment,” Hassan Daoud Bhat said.
In response, Nong Rong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan noted that China will introduce more Pakistani agricultural products as well as beef and mutton products to the Chinese market by strengthening communication and coordination with Pakistan to lay out inspection and quarantine procedures of cherries, potatoes and other agricultural products, and speed up the construction of FMD-free areas. – Agencies