In economic terms, it would not be hard to obtain a win-win deal, he said. "Thedifference between Chinese and Pakistani goods in bilateral trade is relatively bigand the number of their competing goods is relatively small,'' he said in a writteninterview with China Business Weekly. Currently, more than 70 per cent of Pakistan's exports to China are cotton yarn or cotton fabric. The rest are leather products, minerals and seafood. China's main shipments to Pakistan includemachinery equipment, chemicals, electronics and footware.Now Pakistan intends to sell more grain, fruit and vegetables to China. ShahidMahmood, commercial and economic counsellor of the Pakistani Embassy inBeijing, said an "early harvest programme,'' which will mainly focus onagricultural products, is expected to be rolled out six months after the FTA talksare launched. Quarantine is a key issue here. Pakistan's Ministry of Agricultureand China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection andQuarantine are already talking about a mechanism to grant certificates toqualified Pakistani exporters.The farm products Pakistan wants to sell to China include rice, mangoes,potatoes, onions, dates and apricots. People in Beijing and Shanghai will not seemuch of these Pakistani produce appear in their supermarkets because,according to Mahmood, they will mainly target China's western regions, withwhich Pakistan has fairly good land transportation connection. Mahmood said herecently travelled along the roads linking China's Xinjiang Uygur AutonomousRegion and northern part of Pakistan and found conditions there are satisfactoryenough for the expansions of cross-border trade.For the Chinese side, a market with 150 million people in Pakistan is undoubtedlya source of great opportunities. A Sino-Pakistani FTA, which will mean less or zero tariffs for many products, could make the market more attractive. MaChunyan, an official with the chemical section of the China Council for Promotionof International Trade, sees a great market for Chinese pesticide and fertilizer producers. "I know a woman making 1 million yuan (US$120,000) in commissionthis year by serving as an agent selling pesticide to Pakistan,'' she said. Chinesebusiness people can benefit from the FTA not only by selling China-made goods,but also by investing in the country, Ma said. Some Chinese pesticide producersare already thinking about investing in Pakistan because of the market demandand low labour costs, she said.
INVESTING IN PAKISTAN
Chinese companies already account for an important part of foreign investmentin Pakistan. About 500 foreign companies are now operating in Pakistan, 60 of which are Chinese. Many of these companies are operating in the public utilitiesand infrastructure sectors, such as mining, telecommunication and energy.