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Premier's Pakistan trip expected to deepen partnership(2)

2013-05-22 15:57 Xinhua     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

Hu Shisheng, a researcher with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said China and Pakistan are cooperating very well in various areas as all-weather partners and Li's visit will inject new vitality into economic cooperation.

The two countries are expected to sign three intergovernmental deals on economic and trade cooperation, and a Chinese trade and investment promotion group will also visit Pakistan, said Song, the vice foreign minister.

To revive Pakistan's economy and ensure healthy and sustainable growth, Pakistan needs to improve its own "blood-making capability," said Hu, adding that cooperation with China will help Pakistan in this regard.

In terms of economic ties, Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khan has predicted with optimism that the two-way trade would surpass 15 billion U.S. dollars in two or three years.

The two countries inked a free trade agreement in 2006. Official Chinese statistics showed that bilateral trade in recent years grew by more than 20 percent annually.

Aside from the traditional areas of economic cooperation such as mining, construction and infrastructure, Khan said he believes Chinese companies can also play a role in energy, agriculture and IT industry.

The fact that Li's visit comes in the wake of Pakistani general elections demonstrates the high level of mutual trust and the special friendship between the two countries, said Song.

Preparations for Li's visit have not been affected by the polls, he said.

Nawaz Sharif, president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and two-time prime minister, is set to lead Pakistan again after his party won the general elections on May 11 with a comfortable majority to form government.

The power transition is expected to be completed by June 2.

Li is scheduled to meet Sharif.

"The foundation for the China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation is sound and solid," Hu said, adding that no matter which party wins the elections, the new Pakistani government will adhere to a friendly policy toward China.

Meanwhile, to develop friendship with Pakistan is also an established policy of China, said Song.

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