ISLAMABAD: Communications Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui has said that cooperation between Pakistan and China in trade, industry and tourism sectors would ultimately prepare an ideal ground for the economic uplift of the South Asian region.
Siddiqui said this while signing the agreed minutes upon the conclusion of a two-day experts group meeting on ‘International Road Transport at the Ministry of Communications’.
Ministry of Communications Senior Joint Secretary Altaf Asghar and Xinjiang’s Transportation Department Deputy Party Secretary Lin Ping signed the minutes.
In order to promote bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and China in the context of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the meeting of Pakistan-China experts group on international road transport was held at the Ministry of Communications.
On the first day, the experts group from both sides discussed in details matters pertaining to the exchange of information about China-Pakistan international transport volume during 2018, present condition of Karakoram Highway, restoration of Kashgar-Gilgit Bus Service and commencement 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 the transport companies and facilitation measures taken in this regard by both sides. Proposal for the opening of Pak-China border seven days a week was also considered.
The meeting was informed that due to extreme weather conditions at Khunjerab Top, Pak-China border remains closed almost four months, affecting trade and business activities. Both the sides discussed ways to minimize this closure time.
It was also told in the meeting that the construction work of Havelian-Thakot section was 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 the transportation of passengers and goods, both the sides desired implementation of the Bilateral Road Transport Agreement in an effective manner.