KUNMING (APP): From textiles to leather, gems and handicraft – Pakistan’s indigenous products showcased at the ongoing South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF) in China’s Kunming city have hit the mark, attracting huge number of local and international entrepreneurs.
By setting up 200 stalls, Pakistani businessmen are making headway in highlighting country’s trade potential amongst 3,300 corporate entities from 74 countries at the week-long expo, being held in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province.
In the heart of Kunming – referred to as ‘Eternal City of Spring’ for its flowers that bloom all year long, the Pakistani products are capturing the essence of fruitful trade links with Chinese companies.
The objective of the Expo, being held at Kunming’s Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center, is to highlight Yunnan’s key role in Chinese President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, under which Pakistan is pursuing the flagship project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The SSACEIF’s inaugural ceremony was attended among others by President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai, Deputy Mayor of Islamabad Syed Zeeshan Naqvi, businessmen and senior media representatives from Pakistan.
“As Pakistan is fast executing the CPEC, it is high time to introduce its products at international arena to attract investment,” Islamabad’s Deputy Mayor Zeeshan Naqvi told APP’s Special Correspondent Abdul Jabbar Zekria at the venue of Expo, that gathered a galaxy of corporate heads, businessmen and journalists from China and abroad.
Naqvi said Pakistan’s remarkable representation at the expo was to avail the immense opportunities offered by CPEC and also in view of Yunnan’s significance being the gateway to Southeast and South Asia.
The Expo, featuring six major exhibition areas with 17 pavilions and 74,000 booths, marked holding of several sideline events including 2nd China-South Asia Cooperation Forum (and China-South Asia Media Forum, the 14th China South Asia Business Forum and 7th China South Asia Southeast Asia Think Tank Forum.
The events were organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Yunnan Council, in Kunming.
The visiting President FPCCI Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai during his interaction with Chinese entrepreneurs said Pakistan’s business community valued China as an important partner in the country’s economic development.
He said the involvement of Chinese enterprises, both in terms of technical and financial assistance in several projects of Pakistan, was reflective of mutual interest and unstinting confidence.
Earlier in Yuxi’s resort city, Governor Yunnan province Ruan Chengfa opened the China-South Asia Cooperation Forum and delivered speech that encompassed an all-out-invitation to stakeholders to join China’s journey of optimizing business environment with improved trade facilitation, focusing equity and competitiveness.
He mentioned that Yunnan was building the world’s first class clean energy, green food and healthy life industries, besides pacing up for signature digital services such as ‘e-travel around Yunnan’.
He proposed establishment of a Secretariat of China-South Asia Cooperation Forum and setting up of liaison offices at foreign affairs departments to facilitate regular communication.
Dean of Media College of National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Dr. Muhammad Arif spoke about CPEC representing a new model of Pakistan and China cooperation that symbolized win-win approach of development and mutual benefit.
He termed the project an opportunity to learn from China’s path of development and said Pakistan could tap its real potential of modern tourism with Chinese support, proving as panacea for poverty in South Asia.
At the China-South Asia Media Forum, Pakistan’s Consul General at Chengdu Muhammad Mudassir Tipu highlighted the importance of media in economic development and its key role as partner of the State, government, civil society and private sector.
He expressed confidence that with wider participation of senior Pakistani journalists at the Forum, millions of people in Pakistan would know about Yunnan’s business and tourism prospects for Southeast and South Asia, including Pakistan.
Vice President of China Federation of Internet Societies and President of Xinhuanet Tian Shubin noted that South Asia and China were home to 40 per cent of the world’s total population, which required robust representation at international media fora and innovation in media sector.
He also suggested effective use of social media and technology gadgets to address the modern day challenges.
Pakistani journalists also shared their views at the Forum on media’s role and responsibilities in the realm of China-South Asia collaboration.
Journalist Hassan Shahzad speaking on ‘Integrating innovation and creating new prospects of connectivity, said by pursuing innovation through infrastructure connectivity, the BRI could prove to be an inclusive club of nations by keeping their cultural and ideological uniqueness.
Anchorperson Yasir Rehman stressed that instead of indulging into differences, media should create a harmonious environment by highlighting commonalities among the nations.
The Expo will continue till June 18, expecting thousands of visitors to hit the multilateral international event.