Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

BEIJING, Nov 17 (APP): The Pakistani community is playing a very important role in the economic development of the Keqiao District of Shaoxing city, Zhejiang province of China, said Ma Zhongwei, Deputy Mayor of Shaoxing Municipal People’s Government of Keqiao District.

“Pakistani traders and businessmen are not only exporting textile to Pakistan but also to other countries. Hence, they are playing a very important role in the development of city,” he said while talking to a delegation of diplomats and journalists from Asian countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Laos during its visit to Keqiao District. The tour was organized by department of the Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

Keqiao, known as China Textile City, has a long history and plays an important role, with most complete textile industry chain, the strongest textile production capacity and the largest professional market in China.

He said, at present, Keqiao has become a textile distributing center with the largest scale and the largest variety in the world. The city has more than 30,000 market operators and more than 50,000 kinds of products and its sales network covers 192 countries and regions. One fourth of global textile fabrics are traded every year in this district.

The district has established production and marketing relations with nearly half of domestic textile enterprises, he added.

Mao Zhongwei said that the business activities were slowed down as a result of Covid-19 pandemic. “But, now we are expecting a growth rate between 2-5 percent this year. Our factories are working round the clock to meet orders from abroad.”

Later, talking to APP, Abdullah Afridi, a textile exporter and key member of Pakistani community in Keqiao District thanked the local administration for acknowledging the role and services of Pakistani community in the development of the district.

Sharing some details about the Pakistani community, he said that in the beginning, Pakistani traders came in Keqiao District to buy textile but later they started to settle here permanently in 1997. “Pakistanis were the first foreign nationals who started living here.”

At present, the number of Pakistani community residing in Keqiao District has risen to around 2,600 and most of them are associated with business of textile, textile machinery and import of pine nuts.

In addition, up to 20,000 Pakistani businessmen come here on short trips here from Pakistan to buy textile every year.

About facilities, he said that there are several mosques for the faithful in the city while Halal food is also available. Several Muslim food outlets have been set up to serve the people especially Muslims.

Abdullah Afridi informed that Pakistani community also celebrates Pakistan Independence Day and other national occasions with traditional zeal every year.

“Our community members also take part in the welfare programmes of the local community and they have even enthusiastically participated in blood donation campaigns in the past.”

To express solidarity with the local residents, the Pakistani community also observe May Day event and distribute gifts among the workers, he said.