Pakistani delegation leaves for China to finalise relief package

Sergio Conner
November 9, 2018

The delegation will hold talks with Chinese officials to finalise a possible economic package, in a follow-up to Prime Minister Imran Khan's five-day visit to China last week.

PM Khan had on Thursday apprised his cabinet of the "successful" maiden visit to China, saying that Beijing had assured Islamabad "of every kind of assistance", and that Pakistan would reap its benefits in the days to come.

He also announced further liberalising Pakistan's trade policy, saying drafts of tariff and trade policies were ready for the prime minister's approval.

Answering a question, the PM's adviser said his stance on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had been vindicated after both the countries agreed to move beyond infrastructure and power projects.

The channel, PTV, apologised for the mistake and said, "Today, during a live address of the Prime Minister during his ongoing visit to China, a typographical error took place, which remained on screen for 20 seconds & later removed".

"Pakistan's exports have remained on a declining trajectory for nearly five years before starting recovery last year". He had also said that no other country had tackled poverty and corruption the way China did.

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The cash-strapped Pakistani government is facing grave economic challenges as it struggles to avoid a financial crisis and keep the economy afloat.

Pakistan's foreign reserves have plunged 42 percent since the start of the year and now stand at about $8 billion, or less than two months of import cover.

Asked for her reaction to Umar's comments and how much China has offered to Pakistan, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing would provide assistant to the best of its capacity but did not specify the amount.

The veteran industrialist said Pakistan and China also agreed to enhance cooperation in areas of industrial development and agriculture.

Earlier reports from Pakistan said Beijing has committed a similar amount during Khan's visit but Chinese officials declined to confirm it.

Speaking on the occasion, Planning Minister Bakhtyar gave an update on CPEC.

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