Remarks by Ambassador Khalil Hashmi at the Opening Session of 25th China (Shouguang) International Vegetable Science and Technology Expo - Press Releases - Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Beijing

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Remarks by Ambassador Khalil Hashmi at the Opening Session of 25th China (Shouguang) International Vegetable Science and Technology Expo

April 20,2024

Ladies and gentlemen,
Good Morning and Dajia Hao,
Its such a pleasure for me, as the Ambassador of Pakistan to China, to be present at the inauguration of the 25th China (Shouguang) International Vegetable Science and Technology Expo. I would also like to thank the Shouguang government for extending this kind invitation. I along with my wife and my colleagues are very fascinated by the scientific beauty and warm hospitality. 
The Vegetable Expo, renowned in the field of Facility vegetables, embracing an international perspective, market-oriented operations, a professional service ethos, and the ethos of "green, technology, and future," Expo has garnered widespread acclaim and support across diverse sectors. This has significantly expanded avenues for growth within the vegetable and related industries, exerting a profound impact on the international vegetable sector.
I am pleased to know that it has facilitated increased understanding between nations, enhanced economic and trade exchanges, and encouraged cooperation. I am optimistic that through this exhibition, we can foster further exchanges in agricultural trade, technology, and collaboration, thereby propelling the agricultural sector of both our countries forward.
China and Pakistan share a robust partnership across various sectors including economy, trade, science, technology, and culture. Agriculture has been a cornerstone of our bilateral cooperation, playing a pivotal role in fostering continuous development in our relationship.
I would also like to share some insights into Pakistan's agricultural landscape. Pakistan is primarily an agrarian nation, with agriculture contributing approximately 23% to our GDP. It employs over 37.4% of our national labour force, utilizing 47% of our national land, which exceeds the global average. Agriculture forms the backbone of our economy, with about 70% of our exports directly or indirectly linked to this sector.
In collaboration with our Chinese partners, we are actively working to capitalize on and enhance productivity in various agricultural domains. Agriculture and food processing serve as the linchpin of cooperation between Pakistan and China, further reinforced by our joint efforts under the CPEC framework. Through mechanisms such as the Joint Working Group on agriculture, delegation exchanges, and adherence to Chinese food standards and protocols, we are facilitating a conducive environment for bilateral agricultural cooperation.
Our recent achievements include the signing of five agriculture protocols, opening avenues to a USD 30 billion market. This year, we plan to ink seven more protocols, further bolstering trade and cooperation. The establishment of the Special Economic Zones through an Act of Parliament underscores our commitment to facilitating investment, with agriculture being a priority area.
Last year's Food and Agri Expo witnessed remarkable success, with a substantial increase in exports to China. We are thrilled to announce the upcoming Food and Agri Expo in August 2024, with China as the country of honor. This expo will feature the Pakistan China Agriculture Cooperation Conference, fostering deeper collaboration and exchanges.
I extend a warm invitation to the Shouguang Government, agriculture experts, businessmen, and investors to explore opportunities in Pakistan. We offer favorable policies including access to agriculture land with essential amenities and tax incentives. Through the SIFC framework, we are dedicated to establishing Agriculture Parks and enhancing business-to-business exchanges. The ongoing strategic agreement between Shouguang Holding Company and Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company is a significant step forward, and we are committed to ensuring its fruitful implementation.
In conclusion, I look forward to strengthening the economic and cultural ties between Shouguang and Pakistan, advancing cooperation in agriculture, and ushering in a new era of mutually beneficial partnerships.
Thank you for your kind attention, and I wish the 25th China (Shouguang) International Vegetable Science and Technology Expo a resounding success.

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