Pakistan has been given the status of “Guest of Honor” by the Chinese government at China International Import Expo (CIIE) which will be held from November 5-10 2018. This will provide a big window of opportunity for Pakistan as it will open the door for Pakistani goods to be imported to China and other countries. This gesture from China is a testament to the fact that China values Pakistan as an important ally.
The event provides a platform for global manufacturers to showcase their products in order for them to get into the Chinese domestic market. It will create an opening for countries who are participating in the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative. Pakistan in its recent past has been going under massive infrastructural development. Since the start of CPEC, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has built a web of roads all over the country. Furthermore, a network of railway and a deep sea-port is also under construction.
The CIIE comes at a critical time for Pakistan. Since China’s demand for imported food has grown rapidly, showing a 25% increase in the last year, thereby creating a market worth $58.28 billion. This presents a huge opportunity for Pakistan, given its status as an agrarian economy. With the help of the R&D from China, Pakistan can cater to the food needs of its by producing hybrid crops, such as hybrid rice and hybrid wheat.
Pakistani mangoes are amongst the most exported goods from the country. 10,000 of these mangoes are expected to be exported to China by the end of 2018. Onyx stones, minerals, and surgical items are other products with huge potential, which Pakistan can export to China. Furthermore, Pakistan can use this platform as an opportunity to showcase its highly prized exports to other countries as well. The massive participation in the event, with up to 160,000 attendees so far, will present Pakistan with the perfect opportunity to access markets of other countries as well.
The good news is that China is adjusting its tariffs on certain products such as nuts grown in Pakistan to meet their consumers’ demands. A follow-up strategy to this expo is China’s booming e-commerce sector, which can be utilized by the Pakistani manufacturers to reach out to more customers through Chinese stores.