Pakistani jade ornaments, Belgian chocolates, Iranian carpets and Uzbek honey were among a wide range of commodities showcased at this year’s Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo held in Guangzhou, China earlier this month. The expo attracted over 1,000 participating companies and generated deals worth nearly USD 279 million.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in China, connecting Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong province, is envisioned as an economic powerhouse and drives the Belt and Road Initiative constantly. A lot of exhibitors at the event expressed their appreciation for the fast development of this area and wanted to build more connections. “Our main purpose is to enter the market of the Greater Bay Area through this exhibition platform,” said a Zelanian exhibitor at the event.
“The Greater Bay Area, is one of the most important areas in China. It has a large population, and the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is also very high. I see a huge opportunity for Pakistani traders in this area,” said Muhammad Irfan, Pakistani Trade and investment counselor in Guangzhou. The region’s combined GDP reached nearly USD2 trillion in 2022, up 25 percent from USD1.65 trillion in 2019.
“Most population in the area is urbanized. They have strong consumptive power and great love for international products. This area especially has a very soft corner towards Pakistan. They have very positive reactions toward our products at the exhibition.” Muhammad Irfan told us that Pakistan’s export to their consular district was around $350 million in 2020, which has jumped to more than $1 billion last year.
“This area has a huge demand for Pakistani raw materials, including copper and aluminum. Another category is yawn. Pakistan is supplying a lot of cotton yarn to the Chinese manufacturers here. We are trying to invite these manufacturers to go to Pakistan and start manufacturing in Pakistan as well. We also have a lot of rice coming to this area. There is also great demand for gems and precious stones.” Muhammad Irfan noted. The consulate is making efforts to introduce new products from Pakistan, like Pakistani confectionery items, tea items and cookies.
“The Greater Bay Area offers a lot of opportunities, not only for trade, but also for technological corporations and innovation,” said Sardar Muhammad, Consul General of Consulate General of Pakistan. We hope that the continuous improvement of the Greater Bay Area and Gwadar Port will inject new impetus into Pak-China cooperation.