|Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) gives an exclusive interview to Xinhuanet, the official website of Xinhua News Agency, in Beijing, May 20, 2011. During the interview, Gilani talked about international anti-terrorism efforts and Pakistan-China friendship, etc..(Xinhuanet Photo)
BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Pakistan and China should put more emphasis on economic cooperation while maintaining the all-dimensional relationship, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here Friday.
During an exclusive interview with Xinhuanet, Gilani expressed that in light of the all-dimensional relationship, economic cooperation should be further enhanced. He proposed to target for a bilateral trade volume of 15 billion U.S. dollars within two years.
“Our trade at the moment is nine billion U.S. dollars, we want to enhance it to 15 billion U.S. dollars with the expansion of two years, and this is doable. We are moving in the right direction," said Gilani, who is on a four-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. This is also his fourth visit.
This year 2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations and was declared China-Pakistan Friendship Year by Wen and Gilani during Wen's visit to Pakistan in December 2010.
Gilani said that during the past 60 years, China and Pakistan have had multi-dimensional cooperation in many fields, whether it is in national defense, economics, intelligence, agriculture, culture, infrastructure, and energy.
“But I feel that there should be more emphasis on one issue and that is economy," he said, adding Pakistan should be economically stable as it is fighting an anti-terrorism war for which Pakistan pays dear.
Recalling the Pakistan-China Entrepreneurs Forum held the previous day, Gilani expressed again there is still great potential to explore in bilateral economic cooperation.
"China and Pakistan enjoyed a solid friendship of six decades. The economic ties between the two countries have seen strong growth in the past, however, the two sides believe there is still unexplored potential, and hope to further expand cooperation in trade, investment and financial services," he said.
At the forum, he also said though China-Pakistan all-weather friendship has "beat the test of time," their corporate sectors should work together to "inject new dynamics into their partnership and lead the process to take the friendship to new heights."
Bilateral trade between China and Pakistan has increased from 3 billion dollars in 2005 to 8.7 billion dollars in 2010 under the Free Trade Agreement and other favorable policy frameworks.
By the end of 2010, Chinese enterprises had signed contracts with Pakistan worth a total of 19.87 billion dollars. China's direct investment in Pakistan hit 1.36 billion dollars, while Pakistan's investment in China, 57.38 million dollars, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.