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‘Prime time for Pak-China logistic cooperation’

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SHENZHEN:

It is a prime time for Chinese enterprises to invest in the logistics sector of Pakistan given that it is growing at a rapid pace, said China Electronics Chamber of Commerce’s (CECC) Supply Chain and Logistics Professional Committee (SCLC) Secretary and Vice Chairman Shi Jinhui.

Last Friday, the committee concluded a strategic cooperation agreement with the Pakistani Consulate General in China on the 2021 China (Shenzhen) Supply Chain and Logistics Summit Forum, co-organised by SCLC and Shenzhen Cross-border E-commerce Association (SZCBEA).

Together, the two entities will facilitate Chinese companies to visit and explore the Pakistani market and enhance liaison between the logistic firms from both countries for more efficient matchmaking.

“Pakistan is witnessing burgeoning e-commerce development,” Jinhui said in an interview. “In addition to large cities like Islamabad and Lahore, there is massive potential to be unleashed in small cities. They need logistic facilities.”

A handful of Chinese companies have already captured this opportunity. Since its establishment last year, the committee has been working closely with Pakistan’s leading logistic companies to connect bilateral enterprises and government authorities.

At the peak of the pandemic, Shenzhen ZCTD Supply Chain Company opened a special aviation line to carry Covid prevention and control supplies to Pakistan. Recently, Speedaf, a joint venture between Alibaba and ZTO, is deploying its logistic network in Pakistan.

“Multi-functional logistics centres are in the pipeline,” said Jinhui.

Apart from boosting local employment and revenue, the development of logistics in Pakistan will immensely boost entire logistics industry in the region.

“This is how Chinese logistics segment will prosper,” Jinhui observed. “First, the delivery companies emerge and then they uplift the industry.”

“While the pandemic has taken a toll on regional transportation routes, we anticipate that the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) will play a vital role in connecting Pakistan with China’s northwestern province Xinjiang, and further to other Middle Asian countries,” he envisioned.

Looking ahead, he maintained that digital platforms are the way forward. In collaboration with SZCBEA, the committee has started to develop a new e-commerce platform to pool the relevant resources together.

“I believe that as higher number of Chinese logistics companies set eyes on Pakistani, more warehouses, delivery lines and dispatching teams will appear in Pakistani cities,” he added.

The article originally appeared in the China Economic Net

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2021.

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