Imran to seek investments during China visit next month

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Imran Khan may become one of the first foreign leaders to visit China after the start of the pandemic…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit China next month as the incumbent government is facing economic challenges and massive criticism by the opposition over mini-budget, rising trade deficit and inflation in the country, reported local media.

With the visit, Imran Khan may become one of the first foreign leaders to visit China after the start of the pandemic, reports quoted officials in Islamabad as saying.

China hasn’t hosted foreign leaders since the start of the pandemic and the initial lockdown of Wuhan in January 2020. President Xi Jinping has also not travelled out of China for close to two years, since a visit to Myanmar in mid-January 2020, it was reported.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered the removal of red-tape hindering Chinese investment in Pakistan, as he prepares for the visit to further cementing the bilateral ties, The Express Tribune quoted Special Assistant to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Khalid Mansoor as saying on Wednesday, reported The Express Tribune.

Mansoor also said that Imran Khan ordered the removal of 37 regulations to ensure one-window operation for foreign investors. He added that the prime minister would personally be taking briefings on progress on CPEC projects every 15 days, said The Express Tribune.

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It comes as Pakistan trade deficit surged to USD 24.79 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year, mainly on the back of a 63 per cent year-on-year increase in imports. The surge in trade deficit came from a massive rise in exports.

Data for the July-December period showed that imports jumped to USD 39.91 bn from USD 24.47 bn a year ago. In contrast, exports during July-December also grew 25 per cent to USD 15.13bn compared to the year-ago period, reported Dawn.

Pakistan is currently marred with financial challenges with opposition targetting the government over the mini-budget. PML-N Chief Shahbaz Sharif and PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto have criticised the ruling government for massive inflation in the country and had demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan over his government’s failure to tackle the challenges. (ANI)