Pakistani culture fair in Shanghai brings exotic products

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BEIJING: A Pakistani culture fair featuring jewels, handcrafted carpets and garments produced in Pakistan is being held in Shanghai this week and brings the charm of Pakistani products to locals without having to travel abroad.

According to Hussain Haider, Consul General of Pakistan in Shanghai, who addressed the fair, China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, largest source of imports, second largest export destination and largest source of foreign direct investment.

“The two countries’ ministries of commerce have made great efforts to provide convenience for trade between the two countries since the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including a tax-exempt agreement, through which our jewel industry has also gained benefits from,” Aqeel Chaudhry, founder of renowned Pakistani jewel brand WINZA told the Global Times.

It is noteworthy that sales of the jewels of WINZA, which has participated in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) since 2020 and launched their first flagship store in China last November at the Shanghai New World Daimaru Department Store on the famous pedestrian street Nanjing Road East, are expected to achieve a 35 to 40 percent increase this year compared with pre-epidemic sales volume in 2019.

“The sales growth is related to China’s overall increase in consumption economy and consumption market. The jewelry consumption market saw a 40 percent increase during the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in 2019, the only jewelry market in the world with such an achievement,” Chaudhry said.

“The policies under the BRI and the free trade agreement have inspired more Chinese businessmen to go to Pakistan and activated our industrial parks there. The financial policies and green channel under the CPEC dismissed our worries about the flow of funds,” Xiao Yan, a person in charge of the Pakistani culture exchange platform OBOR Batter, told the Global Times.

According to Xiao, almost all the business sectors of his company have basically fully recovered from the epidemic. After living in China for 11 years, Chaudhry thinks the long-term friendship and mutual trust between the two countries and their peoples have brought prosperity to his family business and personal career.

“Although the employees of our company are all Chinese, we understand each other’s cultures very well and developed an enterprise culture that satisfies the needs of Chinese employees,” Chaudhry said in fluent Chinese. “In Pakistani people’s minds, the CPC witnessed China’s rise from poverty to prosperity and China’s influence to the world as a responsible power. During the progress, China and Pakistan have always been in the same boat,” Xiao said.

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