Pakistan, China vow to enhance cooperation in energy, banking, space tech
By Shafek E Koreshe
ISLAMABAD, Dec 18 (APP): Pakistan and China while reiterating resolve to further strengthen their multi-faceted strategic relationship have vowed to enhance cooperation in space technology, banking, energy and communication sectors.The two sides inked 35 agreements; including 13 at the government level and 22 between their private sectors; that are expected to bring around 25 to 30 billion dollars of investment over the next five years.Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in their meetings deliberated on a whole range of issues including bilateral matters, regional and international situation and the challenges facing the two countries.

Apart from formal talks, the two sides expanded ties in cultural and economic areas with the opening of a Pakistan-China Friendship Centre and holding of a business forum, allowing interaction between the two private sectors.
A delegation of around 250 business representatives are accompanying the Chinese Prime Minister.
China also pledged 10 million dollars as cash compensation and  400 million dollars as soft loan for infrastructure rebuilding in the post flood reconstruction.
Prime Minister Gilani termed China as a trusted partner, very good neighbor and a close friend of Pakistan and said their ties were “unprecedented” and the whole Pakistani nation stood as one to further deepen and broaden ties with the brotherly nation of China.
The two leaders also discussed cooperation in defence, terrorism and security related areas and expressed the resolve not to be deterred by acts of extremists and terrorists.
The two sides also appreciated the Pakistan-China joint Economic Group that has identified 36 projects that would be supported by China and are estimated at around 15 billion dollars.
The two sides also agreed on widening of the Karakoram Highway on the fast track basis to enhance mutual trade and communications. China also pledged to support all energy related projects with Pakistan to help it meet its growing energy needs.
He said China has offered 500 scholarships to Pakistani students over a period of next three years, exchange of middle school students between the two countries to promote cultural interaction, exchange of volunteers and young entrepreneurs while 1000 cataract operations would be conducted by Chinese experts in Pakistan.
China extended full support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, security and political integrity besides extending strong support to Pakistan in areas of defence, economy and space programme.