China to push zero-tariff regime for trade

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As 2nd China-South Asia expo opens in Kunming, China offers investment in energy, telecom, roads on BOT, PPP basis to less developed South Asian states

Vice Prime Minister of China Wang Yang on Friday expressed his country’s willingness to help the South Asian countries in the fields of energy, telecommunications and road infrastructure on Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

“We will pursue zero tariff regime on 95 percent of trade for less-developed countries in South Asia,” the Chinese vice premier made these remarks while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 2nd China-South Asia Exposition held here attended by five heads of state of South Asian states.

The announcement by Wang Yang would go a long way in bringing development, progress and prosperity in across the South Asia region besides providing billions of jobs to the youths of the subcontinent.

Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid represented Pakistan, while Bangladeshi Primer Sheikh Hasina Wajid, Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala, Vice President of Maldives Mohammad Jamil, Deputy Prime Minister of Laos, Deputy Speaker of Sri Lanka, SAARC general secretary and representatives of other countries also attended.

Visitors thronged 100 Pakistani booths established at the expo while India had 80 booths followed by Bangladesh and other regional states.

Referring to the efforts of Chinese government to develop the connectivity between South Asia countries, Chinese vice prime minister said that the China had launched Korakorum Economic Corridor with Pakistan, while another parallel economic corridor was being launched to boost trade between India, Bangladesh and Myanmar with China. He said that Korakorum economic corridor would prove to be a roof of the world which reflects the commitment of the Chinese government to the development and progress of the peoples of regional states.

“Our cooperation with our neighbours is high like Hamalas. Now there is a greater level of cooperation in the fields of trade and development,” he added. He said that the aim of the expo was to boosting interstate connectivity. He said that the Chinese investment in South Asian countries was being raised by 48 percent every year.

Wang Yang’s remarks were endorsed by the Bangladeshi premier Hasina Wajid who in her address said that she firmly believed that the Bangladesh-China- India-Myanmar economic corridor was a very encouraging development and once implemented it would go a long way in bridging the peoples of the region together.

In his remarks, Nepalese Prime Minister Koirala hoped that China would play its role as a major world power to bring progress and development in South Asia region. He said his country believed in One-China policy and Nepal seeks massive Chinese investment in its human resources development.

He said that greater cooperation would be enhanced in the fields of telecommunications, agriculture, trade, railways, industry and infrastructure building. He said that China also aimed at technology transfer and scientific research and joint labs would be established besides providing training to the scientists of South Asia and South East Asia countries.

Maldives Vice President Mohammad Jamil praised the China’s generosity for development of Maldivian people which was unparalleled. He urged the Chinese investors to come and invest in Maldives who had abundant resources of tourism and minerals. He said that the per capita income of Maldives was highest in South Asia but after the 2004 Tsunami, it was now opening up its resources for foreign investors.

Hasina Wajid said that there was a growing demand that the connectivity between the regional countries be reinforced through rail and railway links. She said that the Kolkata-Kunming Car Rally held last year had proved that the road connectivity was feasible. She hoped that China could also help Bangladesh in fighting poverty, terrorism, climate change and other challenges.

Following the inaugural ceremony, the exposition was opened for the people while the dignitaries also visited the booths.

 

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