Zardari signs trade, energy pacts with China

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Beijing, Oct 16: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who is on a visit to China, signed as many as 11 agreements with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao last evening. The agreements, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and protocols to enhance bilateral co-operation in trade, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry, mining, telecommunication, disaster relief and space technology.

On the occasion, Zardari also offered preferential treatment to Chinese investors. In a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Zardari and Hu Jintao saw the signing after an hour-long one-on-one interaction and two hours of delegation-level talks.

The two Presidents are expected to issue a joint statement today.

"The two leaders and their delegations had wide-ranging discussions in a cordial atmosphere characteristic of long-standing ties between the two countries. The talks emphasised enhancing economic co-operation on strong footings in multiple dimensions," said Pakistan's Ambassador in China Masood Khan told reporters after the signing of pacts.

Zardari's engagements also included detailed interaction with the heads and chief executives of major Chinese companies working in banking, steel, mineral, cement, and trade sectors.

Talking to over 200 top Chinese businessmen during a luncheon meeting at the State Guest House, Zardari offered 'preferential treatment' to Chinese investors in Pakistan, urging them to "take advantage of the country's geo-strategic location".

During the talks, President Hu Jintao congratulated Zardari on his election and said he was confident that ties between the two countries would improve under his leadership.

Jintao also condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Zardari reaffirmed


ANI

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