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Chengdu Report: Pakistan visit strengthens friendly ties

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-21 11:21

The Mayor of Chengdu Tang Liangzhi traveled to Pakistan in April to explore cooperation in various sectors between the two sides.

Lahore is the capital city of Pakistan's Punjab province and is recognized as the "heart of Pakistan".

Similarly to Chengdu, Lahore is an economic, transport and cultural hub with well-developed infrastructure and the country's top educational institute. Three Nobel laureates graduated from the University of Punjab in the city.

Chengdu ranks top in economy, aviation and innovation in the western part of China.

Chengdu is at the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Yangtze River Economic Zone, two of China's key national strategies. As a key part of the diamond economic zone project connecting Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing and Kunming, Chengdu stands to receive a range of national support and open up to more opportunities. There are 12 countries approved to set up consulates in Chengdu. The city operates 82 international air routes and adopted the 72-hour visa free policy for visitors. It is also working on building a new airport and a range of transport and logistics projects.

Renowned for its cluster of top universities, Chengdu is home to a large number of Pakistani students, with majors including medical studies, engineering and Chinese.

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in China and the Consulate General of Pakistan in Chengdu set up a Pakistani Studies Center in Sichuan University in 2007 to promote academic and cultural exchanges between the two countries. Chengdu has 53 top universities and several major national scientific institutions. Each of them focuses on innovation and developing international cooperative projects.

Lahore will become Chengdu's second sister city in South Asia after Bangalore, India. The pair will carry out projects in infrastructure, agricultural product processing, culture and education, textiles and tourism.

The friendship between Chengdu and Pakistan started in the 1990s covering sectors including aviation, military industry, chemical engineering and machinery.

In 2006, Pervez Musharraf, the then-president of Pakistan, visited Sichuan and signed an agreement to initiate a range of cooperation projects between the province and Punjab.

The Consulate General of Pakistan in Chengdu opened in 2007. In 2009, Air China opened a direct route from Chengdu to Karachi, Pakistan.

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry established its first overseas office in Chengdu in 2010. The federation and the consulate encourage and help business groups from Pakistan attend expos in Chengdu, especially the Western China International Fair. Made-in-Pakistan products such as wood furniture, bronzeware, carpets and jewelry proved popular during the fair. At last year's event, more than 60 exhibition booths displayed products from Pakistan.

According to Amna Baloch, consul general of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Chengdu, Pakistan has participated in 15 of the fairs, which have long been an important platform for Pakistan.

The Western China International Fair is a significant platform for west China to further open up to Asian regions.

In addition to business, Pakistan and Chengdu also work together on environmental protection. The national geology center of Pakistan visited Chengdu several times and attended summits with local scholars.

The Institute of Chengdu Mountain Hazards and Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Punjab in 2014.

The Southern Silk Road, which starts in Chengdu and terminates in South Asia, is one of the ancient international trade routes in China.

Chengdu is developing economic and trade platforms with regions along the Southern Silk Road. As the emerging growth engine in high-tech, innovation and manufacturing, Chengdu has a range of advantageous industries including autos, electronic information, metallurgy, food and beverages, petrochemical engineering, building materials, light manufacturing and machinery.

The city is home to 262 Fortune 500 companies. Its industrial and scientific parks have attracted significant investment.

Chengdu Report: Pakistan visit strengthens friendly ties
Amna Baloch, consul general of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Chengdu, enjoys a day at the Friendly Spring event in Chengdu. Photos Provided to China Daily
Chengdu Report: Pakistan visit strengthens friendly ties
Sichuan embroidery is a highlight of a trip to Chengdu.


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