Green Corridor to boost agricultural trade between China, Pakistan
BEIJING: The Green Corridor likely to be launched between Khunjerab pass in China and Sust pass in Pakistan will boost China’s agriculture trade with Pakistan, experts said.
China and Pakistan have agreed to launch a “Green Corridor” system that will fast-track two-way customs clearance exclusively for agricultural products, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce.
With the simplified clearance procedures and future improvement of transportation facilities, more agricultural products are expected to be imported from Pakistan, Zhou Rong, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.Agriculture is the lifeline of the Pakistani economy.
In 2017-18, the agriculture sector grew 3.8 percent, and accounted for 24 percent of GDP. As China becomes the biggest importer of agricultural products in the world, the rising demand will boost the agricultural sector in Pakistan.
“Key imports of agricultural products from Pakistan include rice and cotton,” Zhou said. “Agricultural imports from Pakistan still account for a very limited amount of China’s total imports, but as the market grows and as production and quality inspection standards are standardized, more products from Pakistan can be expected in the Chinese market.”
The total exports of the top three agricultural products from Pakistan accounted for only 2 percent of China’s total imports in 2015. Zhou noted that for Pakistani products to enter the Chinese market in large quantity, transportation needs to be further improved apart from the simplification of custom procedures.
“Due to geographical conditions and extreme regional weather, many products involved in bilateral trade are still airborne, adding to the cost of transportation,” Zhou said. To improve Pakistan’s overall trade performance, China offered Pakistan export concessions on 313 new items under the second phase of the free trade agreement between Pakistan and China signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China in April this year.
The agreement took effect on December 1, allowing Pakistani manufacturers and traders to export 313 new products duty-free to the Chinese market.