Great potential for Sino-Pak bilateral trade
Editor's note: Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law，Special Commentator of China Economic Net, former Defense Attache in South Asian countries. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of China Economic Net.
The statistics released by the General Administration of Customs of China show that Pakistan’s exports to China crossed $ 67 million in the first two months of 2022, which recorded a nearly 23% year-on-year increase.
In recent years, with the rapid progress of the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Chinese enterprises, especially private small and medium-sized enterprises, have significantly increased their investment in Pakistan. The economies of the two countries are increasingly integrated, thus continuously enhancing Pakistan's export capacity. Under such circumstances, Pakistan's exports to China have continued to grow substantially.
As a matter of fact, the growth of Pakistan's exports to China is only a good start. There is still great potential for bilateral trade, especially for Pakistan's exports to China.
China is a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion. It is not only a global exporter, but also a global importer. China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors connected by rivers and mountains and have convenient transportation channels. Therefore, China is naturally a huge market for Pakistan.
If the bilateral trade between China and Pakistan continues to grow at the current rate of 20-30% per year, China will finally become Pakistan's largest export destination, and Pakistan is likely to become China's main trading partner in South Asia in the future.
Over the years, Pakistan has been committed to developing an export-oriented economy. To realize the rapid and stable growth of exports to China, both China and Pakistan need to make further efforts.
For Pakistan, first, it is necessary to ensure social stability and security, so as to create favorable conditions for CPEC and SEZ continuous expansion and the rapid development of its economy.
Second, Pakistan should accelerate industrial modernization and accomplish the industrialization of agriculture science and technology. China is now the largest importer of agricultural products in the world. If Pakistan's agricultural products reach a high-quality level, China can import as much as Pakistan has.
Third, the two countries make joint efforts to accelerate the transfer of Chinese capital, technology and industries to Pakistan, so that China's achievements in rapid economic development over the past few decades can quickly spill over to Pakistan and help Pakistan improve its export capacity.