Pakistan all set to enter China’s $15bln meat market: Opportunity for CPECB Members

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is all set to venture into the $12 to 15 billion China’s meat market under the two agreements recently signed with the neighbouring country, the food minister said on Wednesday.

The two countries signed two agreements on agricultural cooperation and foot and mouth disease (FMD) free zone during a three days visit (26 to 28 May) of Chinese president to Pakistan.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Mehboob Sultan said the country would move from stage two to stage three towards the control and eradication of FMD by developing FMD free zones in Pakistan.

“This would also open big markets of China and Indonesia for Pakistan meat,” Sultan told media.

China’s annual meat requirement is worth $12 to 15 billion. Currently, meat from Pakistan is exported to Gulf countries, Vietnam and Malaysia.

“The government is focusing on expanding the Pakistan’s meat market and this five years agreement with China will help us achieve the desired results not only in the meat market but in agriculture sector and will be mutually beneficial,” the food minister added.

The purpose of China-Pakistan’s agreement is the establishment of FMD free zone where vaccination would be practiced.

The FMD free zone will be constructed within the territory of Pakistan according to the agreed common requirements of the parties, and the Chinese side would provide technical assistance and support.

Currently, China is the 4th biggest export market of Pakistan. Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers. Despite accounting for only 10 percent of arable land worldwide, it

produces food for 20 percent of the world’s population. Pakistani government is also expecting to get an opportunity to cooperate with China in the field of agriculture at the platform provided by Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

China is further likely to lift three years long ban on import of Pakistani rapeseed meal into China once a protocol proposed by the Chinese government would be signed.

The framework agreement on agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China would be executed and implemented through the ministry of national food security and research of Pakistan and ministry of agricultural and rural affairs of China.

The agreement holds an important position in the backdrop of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework and promotes cooperation in the areas of mutual interest in the field of agriculture.

The goals set in the agricultural framework agreement would be achieved in next five years and would cover extension services of agricultural technology and inputs, remote sensing and geographical information system and food processing and pre-and-post-harvest handling.

The agreement also covers storage of agricultural produce, genetic resources of crops, livestock and poultry, selection and breeding of new breeds of animals and new varieties of plants, feed fisheries and aquaculture, research and development of new high-yield varieties, precision agriculture and pest and disease control.

‘China offers equal opportunities to Pakistan under CPEC’

ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a roundtable conference on Tuesday highlighted the importance of promoting and developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in an attempt to tap potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for sustainable progress and development. CPEC opportunity

The conference titled “Role of CPEC to develop SEZs, SMEs and Human Resources” was jointly organised by the CPEC Excellence Centre and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)

The speakers emphasised that a win-win situation should be created for both countries, saying instead of indulging in competition, they should complement each other which should be the mode of operation.

Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform Secretary Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said some forces wanted to break the China-Pakistan relationship, towards which many countries were looking with envy.

“People and governments of the two countries are standing like a rock and are determined to move forward,” added Siddiqui. “No doubt, China is having business interests in CPEC, but it must be realised that it is providing equal opportunities to Pakistan from which the country can benefit a lot.”

The secretary was of the view that there may be difference of opinion, but all should be united for national interest, adding the nation and its institutions were united on CPEC and were doing their best for the project’s development.

Saying the business community had always been forthcoming, Siddiqui requested businessmen to give their suggestions for making it more productive.

FPCCI President Ghazanfar Bilour highlighted the role of industrial development, businesses and SMEs in overall development of the country. “CPEC provides an opportunity to Pakistan to develop its SME sector and secure jobs for the youth,” he remarked.

On the occasion, FPCCI’s SMEs Central Committee Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik pointed to the link between small enterprises and the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), saying if one was developed, the other should be developed simultaneously.

He emphasised that CPEC could be a lifetime opportunity if taken as a challenge with full responsibility.

“An investment of $50 billion in Pakistan reflects China’s trust,” he said. “Instead of involving in competition, Chinese businessmen should complement and coordinate with the SME sector of Pakistan in order to create a win-win situation for both countries.”

He regretted that SMEs were ignored in the federal budget for fiscal year 2018-19 whereas they were facing lots of problems in getting bank loans. He also stressed the need for focusing on the SME cluster development under CPEC.

CPEC Project Director Hassan Dawood Butt informed seminar participants about the progress on various projects under CPEC. He revealed that a meeting of the Joint Working Group was likely to be held by the end of July or early August, adding the Shanghai Expo 2018 was scheduled to be held in October, which would provide a better opportunity to showcase Pakistan’s products.

Dismissing claims that most of the employees working on CPEC projects were Chinese, he said 64% of human resources working in the energy sector were Pakistanis, adding initially they had to hire Chinese to execute projects till the local manpower was trained.