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Pakistan ambassador calls Li's visit 'milestone'

2013-05-22 15:49 Xinhua     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Pakistan will prove to be a milestone in the relationship between the two "old friends," Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khalid said in an interview.

During his first overseas tour as the Chinese premier, Li's choice of Pakistan as one of his stops would "once again provide a great opportunity to renew the time-honored friendship between the two countries," Khalid said ahead of Li's visit on May 22-23.

"China and Pakistan are old friends, and their relationship has been consolidated and strengthened in the last 60-plus years. It's truly a multi-dimensional relationship, covering many areas," said Khalid, a senior Pakistani diplomat who worked in Malaysia and the Republic of Korea before being posted in Beijing earlier this year.

In terms of economic ties, Khalid said the Pakistani side expects two-way trade to surpass 15 billion U.S. dollars in two or three years.

"I am satisfied with the growth of bilateral trade between Pakistan and China. Last year, there was a 17-percent increase in our bilateral trade, and there is still vast potential to tap in this area," he said.

However, he noted that to realize the long-term growth of bilateral trade, both countries should make more efforts to educate the business communities on the facilities and incentives available for bilateral trade under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by the two countries in November 2006.

"There is also a need to promote participation in trade fairs, exhibitions and the exchange of visits between trade delegations," the ambassador added.

 Premier Li Keqiang's First Overseas Trip

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