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Pakistan, China to further deepen strategic ties: Joint Statement

BEIJING: Pakistan and China, expressing determination to further elevate their all-weather friendship and strategic partnership, have decided to further deepen and broaden the strategic economic engagement for achieving common development and welfare of their peoples.

In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's official visit toChina from April 16 to 20 at the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, both sides reiterated that the time-honoured and traditional friendship between China and Pakistan is a model of friendly co-existence between developing countries and between neighbouring countries.

Official talks were held with Premier Wen Jiabao. Shaukat Aziz also met with President Hu Jintao and other state leaders. He also visitedChengdu. He inaugurated new Consulate General of Pakistan in Chengdu and Pakistan Study Centres in Peking University and Sichuan University.

He had a wide-ranging interaction with Chinese corporations and financial institutions. Talks between the prime minister and the Chinese state leaders were characterised by great warmth and friendship. Both were proud of their all-weather friendship and all-dimensional cooperation.China considers Pakistan as a good neighbour, good friend good partner and good brother and views its relations with Pakistan from a strategic and long-term perspective.

Friendship withChina is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy. This time-tested and evergreen friendship is rooted in the hearts of the people of Pakistan.Both sides are determined to further elevate their friendship and strategic partnership. Pakistan firmly upholds the one China policy and considers Taiwan an inseparable part of the People's Republic of China. China is firmly committed to support Pakistan's efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, the joint statement said.

Both sides decided to further deepen and broaden their strategic economic engagement for achieving common development and welfare of their peoples. In this context, they attached great importance to the 5-year Development Programme on Economic Cooperation, the bilateral FTA, the Joint Investment Company, the Services Sector negotiations and further enhancement of project cooperation, joint ventures, investments and financial and banking sector cooperation.

They attached importance to the early completion of the Joint-Study on China-Pakistan Economic and Trade Cooperation. Both sides agreed to take further effective and pragmatic steps to promote project cooperation under the 5-year Development Program on Economic Cooperation especially in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Automotive, Textiles, Infrastructure and Public Works, Minerals, Energy, IT & Telecom Services, Commerce and Education sectors.

Both sides noted with satisfaction the substantive outcome of the 13th session of the Joint Committee on Economic, Trade, and Scientific and Technical cooperation, held inBeijing on April 9, 2007. They welcomed the signing of the Projects Implementation Regulation for the 5-year Development Program on economic cooperation, which is another major step to promote wider, deeper and higher level China-Pakistan trade and economic cooperation with a view to achieving the goal of mutual benefits, win-win and common development.

Both sides agreed to develop an over-arching framework for different forms of project financing. The two sides will actively facilitate cooperation between the financial institutions of both countries and make effective use of the capital markets of the two countries. Both sides agreed to hold regular meeting of the Economic Cooperation Group for effective follow-up and implementation of the Five-Year Plan.

According to the joint statement, Chinese corporations and financial institutions will be encouraged to participate in the development of hydro- power projects inPakistan and the Pakistan side will provide detailed information on the concerned projects. The two sides greatly valued the bilateral cooperation in investment and agreed to launch the Pakistan-China Joint Investment Company in July 2007.

It was decided to establish working links between the China Investment Promotion Agency and Pakistan Board of Investment. It was also agreed to enhance project cooperation in the energy and minerals sectors.

Both sides agreed to further project cooperation for exploration, processing and development of minerals. Both sides welcomed the commencement of negotiations on trade in services and resolved to speed up the process of negotiations. The FTA on goods will be operationalised on July 1, 2007.

It was also agreed to promote balanced growth of trade in an effort to achieve the trade target of $ 15 billion by 2010. It was agreed to establish Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system to facilitate the development of trade.

To deepen and broaden their strategic economic engagement with a view to promoting common development, a cooperation and consultation mechanism was agreed upon between the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) and the planting commission ofPakistan. To fully leverage the natural economic complementarities between Pakistan and China, the two sides agreed to work towards promoting the development of adjoining regions.

Pakistan would provide overland access for Chinese exports and imports through Pakistani ports. It was agreed to enhance "connectivity" by strengthening communication and transportation networks. Recognising the importance of promoting financial and banking sector cooperation, both sides agreed to encourage their respective financial and banking institutions to establish cooperative links.

Chinese banks were invited to establish operations inPakistan. The two sides welcomed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Karachi Stock Exchange. Pakistan side expressed its gratitude to the Chinese government and people for the humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in the wake of the earthquake and welcomed the decision of the government of China to support reconstruction projects for Muzaffarabad, utilising the $ 300 million preferential export buyer's credit.It was further agreed to speed up the construction of school and hospital in Mansehra district. Both sides agreed to facilitate and strengthen private sector cooperation.

The Chinese side will encourage and support competent Chinese enterprises to invest inPakistan particularly in the areas of auto industry, chemical, fertilizer, light industry, textile, home appliances and machinery.

Pakistan and China agreed to enhance their cooperation in the fields of high technology and agreed to develop close cooperation between relevant institutions in the field of marine and space sciences, promote joint scientific research and development and its applications in industry and agriculture.

It was agreed to implement the project for the upgradation and strengthening of seismic network.Both sides attached great importance to broadening exchanges and cooperation in education and human resource development.China will extend 130 training facilitate to Pakistan in the field of economic management, trade and investment, finance, tourism and contractual projects. China will also help Pakistan set up an Engineering Technology University. The two sides will take positive consideration of increasing the number of students and visiting scholars in the exchange programs as conditions permit.

They welcomed the establishment of the Pakistan Study Centres at thePeking University and the Sichuan University and collaborative links between the Punjab University and Sichuan University, Chinese Foreign Affairs University and the Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan and the CPC Party School and the National Defence University of Pakistan.

Two sides agreed to further enhance cultural contacts and cooperation. In this context, they welcomedPakistan's intention to set up an Arts, Film and Cultural Academy in China and establishing of China Friendship Centre and Confucius Institute in Pakistan.

With a view to enhancing people-to-people contact and to develop two-way tourism, it was agreed to further develop bilateral tourism cooperation and expand the tourism market in an effort to achieve common development of their tourism industries.

Both sides expressed satisfaction on the close cooperation between their defence ministries. The two sides would further enhance exchanges and cooperation in the defence and military fields as well as cooperation between their respective defence industries.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to combat all forms and manifestation of terrorism and to adopt comprehensive measures in this regard signed the Treaty on Mutual Judicial Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Both sides had a commonality of views on international and regional issues. They agreed to work especially at the United Nations and in other multilateral fora to promote global peace, stability and for the just resolution of conflicts and disputes in various parts of the world.

The two sides will closely cooperate and coordinate on all important regional and international issues, including United Nations Reforms.

During the visit, following documents were signed.

1) Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Government of the People's Republic ofChina and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

2) Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic ofChina and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

3) Projects Implementation Regulation for the five-year Development Program on Economic Cooperation between the People's Republic ofChina and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

4) The second protocol to the agreement between the People's Republic ofChina and Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income

5. MoU for cooperation between National Development & Reform Commission of China and Planning Commission of Pakistan.

6) MoU on Cooperation between the National Development & Reform Commission ofChina and Ministry of Industries, Production and Social Initiatives.

7) MoU between Ministry of Education ofChina and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan on establishment of an Engineering Technology University in Pakistan.

8) Framework agreement between Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and National Space Administration (CNSA) on deepening cooperation in space science and technology.

9) MoU betweenPakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and China Great Wall Industry.

10) MoU BetweenShanghai Stock Exchange and Karachi Stock Exchange.

11) MoU for construction of cross-border cables system betweenChina and Pakistan.

12) MoU on the establishment of Centre for Pakistan Studies,Peking University through the Support of Pakistan Embassy, Beijing.

13) MoU on cooperation between China Foreign Affairs University and Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan.

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