Islamabad, May 09, 2019 (PPI-OT): Federal Secretary for Communications Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui has said that Pakistan and China are hand in hand to further expand range of cooperation in trade, industry and tourism sectors that will ultimately prepare the ground for economic uplift of the whole region. He was speaking on occasion of signing agreed minutes on conclusion of two days experts group meeting on International Road Transport at Ministry of Communications. Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Communications Mr. Altaf Asghar and leader of Chinese delegation Mr. Lin Ping Deputy Party Secretary of Transportation Department, Xinjiang signed the minutes.
In order to promote bilateral trade relationship between Pakistan and China in context of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), meeting of Pakistan-China Working level Experts Group on International Road Transport continued two days at Ministry of Communications. Matters relating to expanding trade ties and facilitating transportation of passengers and goods between the two countries were discussed in detail. The Pakistan side was led by Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Communications Mr. Altaf Asghar, while senior officers from Ministries of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Commerce, National Highway Authority, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, National Logistic Cell and Northern Areas Transport Cooperation participated.
Likewise Mr. Lin Ping, Deputy Party Secretary of Transportation Department of Xinjiang led the 8-member Chinese delegation, while high ups from International Road Transport office Xinjiang and other officers of relevant Chinese departments participated in the meeting. On the first day, working level experts group of both the sides discussed in details matters relating to exchange of information about China-Pakistan international transport volume during 2018, present condition of Karakoram Highway, restoration of Kashgar-Gilgit Bus Service and start of Bus service from Lahore and Islamabad to Kashgar, routine mechanism for holding of bilateral talks on regular basis and grant of multiple entries visas to the drivers/crew members.
The meeting also reviewed problems being faced by Transport companies and facilitation measures by both the sides. Proposal for opening of Pak-China border seven days a week was also considered. It was told that due to extreme weather conditions at Khunjerab Top, Pak-China border remains closed almost four months affecting the trade. Both the sides discussed to make efforts for minimizing this closure time. It was told in the meeting that construction work of Havelian-Thakot section is in progress and hopefully will be completed by March 2020.
The meeting also reviewed to obtain services of more than one Bus Operators from both sides that will ultimately pave the way to ensure quality services for cross border transportation of passengers and freight. In order to expand the range of trade relationship between Pakistan and China and to facilitate transportation of passengers and goods, both the sides desired implementation of Bilateral Road Transport Agreement in an effective manner. On conclusion of expert’s level meeting both the sides signed the agreed minutes.
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