NBP supporting agriculture cooperation between China and Pakistan: Chief Representative

BEIJING: : National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Representative Office, Beijing is maintaining close relations with many associations related to agriculture and facilitating companies engaged in agricultural business in establishing their presence in Pakistan. The representative office is recently working on establishing joint ventures for two large companies of both countries in the field of dairy, said Shaikh Muhammad Shariq, Chief Representative of Beijing Office.

According to Shariq’s introduction, NBP is the largest lender to the agricultural sector in Pakistan, and more than PKR 225 billion (USD 1.4 billion) was disbursed to farmers in Pakistan with more than 800 agriculture financing dedicated branches across Pakistan. NBP has also won the Best agriculture Bank Award for years including 2019 and 2020, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Thursday.

Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy and one of the most important sectors of cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has created a broader space for the development of trade between the two countries.

“Support for corporate farming and joint farming are sought in Pakistan’s agricultural sector. Joint research should also be undertaken in the field of agriculture as Pakistan has the research infrastructure, which had the potential to become a center of excellence. There is a need to improve post-harvest, storage and processing facilities in Pakistan, in which China can help”, Shariq said in interview.

Shariq underlined that Pakistan offers numerous opportunities for Chinese companies, especially export and labour-intensive industries, as Pakistan’s labour and business costs are considerably lower than China.

“Export-oriented companies also have great advantages, particularly those exporting to the Middle East or African markets, as a huge amount of cost and time can be saved if production facilities can be relocated in Pakistan especially in Gwadar”, he added.

“NBP is recently working on further strengthening the cooperation in the field of technology. The existence of currency swap agreement between the two countries is also a great benefit and tool to facilitate trade and investment between Pakistan and China”, he said.