ISLAMABAD: China and Pakistan on Tuesday signed the Protocol of Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for the export of onions from Pakistan to China.
With the agreement, Pakistani onion producers will gain access to the Chinese market.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong and Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Food, Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam signed the agreement during a ceremony held in Islamabad.
“Today, we have officially signed the protocol in regard to onion and we are still ready to help the Pakistani exporters in the inspection and quarantine of chilies, potatoes, and other agricultural products so that they can access the Chinese markets,” said Ambassador Nong Rong.
He said that help and guidance could be delivered to the local farmers by the Ministry of Food Security and Research, adding, “The embassy here also gives assistance to help the onion export”.
Mr. Nong Rong said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered into a new phase of high quality development focusing on “industrial and agricultural cooperation”. “China and Pakistan are highly complementary in the agriculture sector, such as plantation, food process, cold chain storage and contract farming,” he said.
According to him, in recent years, China-Pakistan agriculture trade has been growing rapidly and despite Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, bilateral agriculture trade volume remained at a high level with an amount of USD 717 million.
“This year from January to September, China-Pakistan Agriculture trade achieved a record of USD 860 million, of which export from Pakistan to China was USD 613 million and it will increase year on year,” Mr. Rong added. “I believe more Pakistani high quality agriculture products will access Chinese markets in large volumes,” the ambassador said.
Syed Fakhar Imam said that China can buy globally; “hopefully our agriculture community and our people will be able to attain those standards to meet the requirements of Chinese people,” Mr. Imam added.
He said Pakistan has record exports of mangoes, oranges and it has organic cherries grown in Gilgit Baltistan and Balochistan, adding “these are somewhat specialized fruits, which have great potential to be exported to China”.
Ambassador Nong Rong has made the proposal to import onions from Pakistan in June 2021, which led to the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries.
Both countries have agreed to accelerate efforts to implement the onion trade in a short period of time.