BEIJING: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he expected to further deepen strategic relations and enhance trade and business ties with China during his upcoming visit, media reported.
"I hope the visit will result in further cementing our strategic relations and enhancing business and trade with China," he told China Global Television Network (CGTN) in an interview.
The prime minister is scheduled to begin an official visit to China on November 1. It is his first visit to China since he took office in April. The prime minister said he would also discuss expanding the role of CPEC under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Shehbaz Sharif is among the first batch of foreign leaders to visit China after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, The News reported.
"I feel really honoured and deeply touched and it's very heartwarming to know that I am one of the first leaders from the world visiting my brotherly and friendly country China. That shows and reflects the depth of our friendship and strength of our understanding and our bond," he added.
The prime minister said that he looks forward to his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese leadership to enhance cooperation in various fields.
About CPEC which has entered a high-quality second phase, he said that the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has transformed the energy sector and infrastructure in Pakistan. The road network constructed under CPEC in all parts of the country has shortened the travelling time and now people could easily reach from one place to another, he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said Pakistan wanted to expand trade and investment ties with China by making an optimal use of the second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement and by enhancing industrial cooperation, The News reported.