MoU on onion export, an important step to promote Pak-China bilateral trade: Ambassador Haque

BEIJING:Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque Wednesday said signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) on export of onion from Pakistan to China was a very important step in promoting bilateral trade between the two countries.

“This is very welcome development because Pakistan and China are very important trading partners and the MoU will help promote bilateral trade,” he told reporter.

China and Pakistan have signed the Protocol of Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for the export of onions from Pakistan to China. With the agreement, Pakistani onion producers will gain access to the Chinese market.

Ambassador Haque said Pakistan and China were very important trading partners and added, “In fact China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner.”

He said last year, the two countries launched the second phase of free trade agreement, under which we had deepen the access to our respective markets.

“More than 1000 products are enjoying tariff free lines and onion is one of the products. So this agreement will help in the access of onion products, from Pakistan to China,” he added.

The ambassador said the MoU had helped in facilitation of requirements like quarantine and other requirements of Chinese authorities. “So it will facilitate the export of onion from Pakistan to China and we can see it as a very important step in promoting bilateral trade between our two countries.”

Responding to a question about improvement in onion production, he said after having facility of exporting onion to the largest market in the world, the producers in Pakistan would also take steps to improve the cultivation, techniques and standards in bid to increase the capacity and the production of onion to meet demand in China.

Ambassador Haque said China was a very strong agricultural country and the Pakistani authorities were already working with China under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework in the agricultural sector to improve the crop yields in Pakistan to have new seeds and new irrigation techniques. “I’m sure that with this cooperation, we could be able to improve the production of onion in Pakistan as well.”

According to a senior Chinese official, in recent years, China-Pakistan agriculture trade has been growing rapidly and despite Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, bilateral agriculture trade volume remained at a high level with an amount of USD 717 million.

This year from January to September, China-Pakistan Agriculture trade achieved a record of USD 860 million, of which export from Pakistan to China was USD 613 million and it would increase year on year.