ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The Ministry of Commerce on Thursday held a special meeting with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan’s commercial counselor in Beijing amid supply chain challenges in the face of the coronavirus pandemic in China.
The commercial counselor in Beijing “apprised the participants that although there are slight delays in shipments ... normal trading activities are expected to resume in the next 10 days,” the ministry said in a statement after the meeting.
The intermediate goods’ stock cover was sufficient for between six and eight weeks, while the ministry “is cognizant of the situation and is keeping a constant eye on the issue,” the statement read, adding that Pakistan has “significant reliance on China” from where it “sources bulk of its raw material, intermediate and capital goods.”
Meanwhile, China’s consul general in Karachi told Pakistani businessmen on Thursday to profit from the second phase of the China–Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
“Under the FTA phase II, Pakistani exporters can add $5-6 billion to foreign trade by exporting to China,” the consul, Li Bijian, said at the Karachi Press Club.
The second phase of the FTA came into effect in early December last year, facilitating more Pakistani traders in exporting their products to the Chinese market.
After its commencement, Pakistan has been allowed to export more than 1,000 products to China on zero duty.
Bijian also said that that the second phase of China’s investment megaproject, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC), is also underway and will be focused especially on manufacturing, agriculture and poverty alleviation.
He expressed confidence that the Chinese government will contain the novel coronavirus outbreak by the end of March.
“Today is the 16th (consecutive) day the (numbers of) new cases of the virus are coming down. We are dealing with the situation to control and prevent the outbreak, in Wuhan and other cities. Huge numbers of people have (already) been released from the hospitals,” he said.