China, Pakistan to lift bilateral trade to $20 bn

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Islamabad, April 21: China and Pakistan on Monday agreed to work towards raising bilateral trade to $20 billion in three years.

The agreement was announced in a joint statement issued during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Pakistan, according to a Xinhua report.

China, Pak ties to get a new turn

China has become Pakistan's largest trading partner, and official statistics show that two-way trade exceeded $16 billion last year, marking an annual growth of 12.57 percent.

The two sides also agreed to adopt measures to alleviate their trade imbalance and facilitate the second phase of negotiation on a China-Pakistan free trade agreement, according to the joint statement.

In particular, the two countries agreed to expand the reciprocal opening up of their banking sectors.

Pakistan welcomed the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the China-proposed multilateral institution to finance infrastructure projects in Asia.

The two sides agreed to help in the establishment of the bank, in a bid to further promote infrastructure-building and economic development of the region, the statement added.

Also on Monday, Pakistan and China signed 51 agreements for cooperation in diverse fields, with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled to unveil a $45-billion investment plan that can help Pakistan end its chronic energy crisis and transform it into a regional economic hub.


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