A roundtable dialogue on “Sino-Pak Agriculture Cooperation – Way Forward” was held at COMSATS Secretariat, on 20th January 2020. Jointly organized by COMSATS and the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS), the forum highlighted the ongoing Sino-Pak Agriculture Cooperation during the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The dialogue was attended by research scholars, various stakeholders from enterprises, academicians, diplomats, and members of the civil society.
In his keynote address, Dr. Gu Wenliang, Agricultural Commissioner at the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Islamabad, underscored the need to promote cooperation in agriculture sector to help produce better crop varieties, improve agricultural products and building green corridor. He opined that current GDP contribution of agriculture sector of Pakistan (i.e., 24% approx.) can be enhanced through effective business-to-business partnerships. Furthermore, Dr. Gu noted the prospects of collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) for policy formulation.
Mr. Hassan Daud, CEO of the Board of Investment from KPK and former Project Director, CPEC in Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan, emphasized promoting co-branding and co-marketing of agro-based products and livestock. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Muhammad Azeem, Chairman, PARC, deliberated on Pakistan’s standing in agriculture and outlined the potential avenues of cooperation between Pakistan and China. He urged increase in crop varieties, developing research infrastructure and providing training facilities to researchers and farmers alike. Mr. Waqas Burki, Capability Manager at Fatima Group, spoke about the global rankings of Pakistan in crop production. He was of the view that crop production mechanisms should be uplifted through digitalization and efficient use of technology.