Pak-China relationship is an all-weather friendship. We all have heard this slogan many times. The Chinese as well as the Pakistani as counterpart have a special place for each other in their hearts. Also numerous student exchange programs, developmental projects and trade agreements take place everyday but it is not even a fraction of what can and should be done for the mutual progress of the two countries.
The people-to-people contact should be accelerated. Trade and business is to be promoted; tourism should be enhanced. The railway link with Pakistan would greatly facilitate the mobilization of tourists. Chinese are extremely passionate for natural beauty and Pakistan is blessed with many beautiful places and mountains but so far nothing commendable has been done to lure the Chinese tourists. According to a latest study, the number of Chinese tourist visiting abroad has increased from 2005 to 2007 but very few visit Pakistan.
Similarly, the Pakistanis would prefer going to UK or US because these are the places they are introduced to, but when it comes to the neighboring country like China, they are hesitant to visit. The same is true of the Chinese, because of cultural shock, language problem and lack of tourist friendly opportunities. But the truth is right opposite of this perception. China is certainly the most friendly country for Pakistan, language is also not a major problem now as more and more urbanites are picking up English at a fast pace,
We are one of the world's oldest civilizations. Hence we are as rich in history and culture as any country can be. On the other hand, explosion in China, any world brand that one could think about has a presence. Moreover, that presence is quite conspicuous too. Why? Because all these world-renowned brands are now being manufactured locally, so they are quite affordable. Such is the pace of growth of China.
China is the world's largest consumer market, with a GDP growth rate of 10.7%, the sprawling malls littered with designer fare, the six way through ways with flashy cars speeding by, with dozens of A-class hotels sprinkled all over the cities, world class sporting facilities (remember they are the proud host of next Olympics,when all the worlds attention will be diverted to Beijing 2008) One can go on and on about the phenomenal pace at which new China is emerging.
It is a proven fact that the future belongs to China. That is why it is now the most popular second language in school curriculum of the developed world, whereas Pakistan is still stuck with French and Arabic. The affluent Americans now insist on hiring Chinese nannies so that their kids could pick up the language right from infancy, knowing the importance of learning the language of 21st super power. What I am trying to draw attention to is the fact that when China and Pakistan are the all weather best friends then why we both do not learn from each other philosophies, legacies and examples. Why the common Pakistani traders still have to cross the border, fill up the luggage with local and smuggle it back to adorn the display shops in the various China markets of the country.
Similarly there are many Pakistani products that are in great demand in China but are not being exported, as it should be. One such example is the Pakistan fruit, fresh as well as fried. Pine nuts and almond are hugely required and so are various fresh fruits like melons, apricots and plums. These fruits are the juiciest and most flavorful and have a great demand in China but most unfortunately, lack of knowledge and expertise of proper packaging of fresh produce is hindering the export in large number. However, Pakistan is now having Chinese grapes etc. but I find an imbalance concerning fresh produce trade, which is probably because of lack of expertise in proper handling of such highly perishable items. The king of fruit mango (which is called mangua in Chinese) is the king of choice for Chinese. Every Chinese that is posted to Pakistan longs for the summer season, waiting anxiously to taste the flavors of the king of fruits.