Foreign Minister Emphasizes Deeper Cooperation between Pakistan and China in Agriculture Sector
Islamabad (GNP): “Agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy and employs a large part of Pakistan’s productive labor force. There is a greater need to revamp and modernize agriculture sector with China’s co-operation and unleash the Second Green Revolution in Pakistan”, said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while meeting the Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing. The Agriculture Commissioner of the Chinese Embassy, Dr. Gu Wenliang, was also accompanying the Ambassador.
Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that China, in recent years, had introduced wide-ranging reforms in its agriculture sector that had contributed significantly to China’s GDP and strengthened and diversified its R&D capacity. It was imperative that Pakistan benefits from China’s experiences, added the Foreign Minister. Foreign Minister stressed that deeper agriculture cooperation between China and Pakistan will lead to job creation, enhancing agricultural productivity, poverty alleviation and stimulating economic recovery in Pakistan in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Welcoming the establishment of Joint Working Group on Agriculture Cooperation under CPEC, Foreign Minister Qureshi emphasized that inclusion of agriculture in CPEC will promote industrialization and modernization of the agriculture economy.
The Foreign Minister thanked China for helping Pakistan fight locust plague through provision of pesticides, machinery and drones. Foreign Minister emphasized that Foot and Mouth Disease Free Zone will help Pakistan in export of meat to China and, in that regard, urged China to send a team of its technical experts to Pakistan to visit relevant facilities and expedite exports of meat to China.
Ambassador Yao Jing thanked Foreign Minister Qureshi for holding a meeting on a subject that was of vital national importance to Pakistan and hoped that, with Foreign Minister’s personal attention, the co-operation between China and Pakistan in agriculture sector will grow and solidify leading to substantial economic benefits for Pakistan and its people. He underlined that China would like to collaborate with Pakistan in setting up Agriculture Technology Centers, Joint Research Centre for Plant Pest and Disease Control, and FMD Zones in Pakistan. He added that under the Second Phase of FTA China would also welcome import of agriculture products from Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked the Ambassador for the measures that Beijing was taking to support Pakistan’s agriculture sector and stressed that the business sectors of both countries must also explore joint ventures in tapping the potential of agriculture sector.