PM Ashraf in China for WEF's New Champions meeting
11 September, 2012
TIANJIN: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf arrived in China's port city Tianjin on Monday to represent the country at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting of the New Champions.
The prime minister was warmly received by Tianjin Vice Mayor Zhang Jun Fang at the Tianjin Binhai International Airport.
Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan and other senior officials were also present. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani accompanied the prime minister.
Girls attired in traditional Chinese dresses presented bouquets to the prime minister and members of his delegation. Prime Minister Raja Ashraf will hold a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He will also meet other world leaders, including the prime minister of Denmark and prominent figures of the business community. Over 1,500 executives from world's top companies, government and corporate leaders from 90 countries have gathered at the northeastern Chinese city to focus on national competitiveness and entrepreneurial growth for future generations.
During his three-day stay, apart from the bilateral meetings, the prime minister will attend several sessions of the WEF, also widely known as Summer Davos, which will be opened by China's Premier Wen Jiabao today (Tuesday).
Prime Minister Raja Pervez will be the main speaker in a session titled 'An insight, An idea' on Wednesday, where he will deliver a speech on the topic 'Regional situation: Pakistan's perspective'. He will also deliberate on the geopolitical and economic matters affecting the South Asia region.
The prime minister will lead a discussion in the session titled 'Business interaction group on Pakistan', to be moderated by the WEF's head of Asia. He will also participate as panellist in other sessions, including informal gathering of the forum's leaders. Ambassador Masood Khan terming the visit of the prime minister as "very important" said his active participation at the forum would provide him an opportunity to contribute to broader policy decisions.
"China's emergence as a growing economic power has intensified the significance of New Champions' meeting and Pakistan's presence at the forum relates to its efforts to learn and benefit from China's economic policies", the ambassador told APP.
Masood Khan said the prime minister's meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao will be his first with the Chinese leadership and focus on strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing economic cooperation. The two leaders will also discuss the ongoing development projects being carried out with joint collaboration, he added.
He said in past four years, the overall Pakistan-China trade volume had increased by 70 percent, whereas Pakistan's exports to China doubled to $ 2.2 billion.
The ambassador expressed the hope that the two countries would easily achieve the target of $15 billion bilateral trade by 2015.