Pakistan to send 1,000 students to China for agriculture training, announces PM Sharif

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Islamabad, Jun 9 (PTI) Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced sending as many as 1,000 students of the country to China for advanced training in the agriculture sector as it strives to increase output, according to a media report on Sunday.

The premier, who concluded his five-day official visit to China, made the announcement during a visit to Yangling Agricultural Demonstration Base in Xi’an city on Saturday, Radio Pakistan reported.

The 72-year-old also invited China’s North West Agriculture and Forestry University to open a campus in Pakistan. He directed the Pakistan ambassador to China and relevant authorities to finalise the matters with the Chinese authorities in this regard, Geo News reported.

The prime minister toured various parts of the facility and was shown Pakistani products at the Pakistan Pavilion, the report said. Sharif also visited the modern plant production factory where he oversaw a demonstration of the vertical method of agriculture, it said.

“Pakistan is striving to modernise its agriculture sector to increase per acre yield of crops. Increasing the agricultural exports is one of our top-most priorities,” Sharif told Chinese officials.

The premier was also given a briefing about the working of the Yangling Base and was informed that 26 countries were collaborating in agriculture research at the base, with Pakistan being the first one to participate, Geo News reported.

Sharif later flew back to the country, accompanied by his high-level delegation.

During his five-day official visit, Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping and they affirmed consensus on the upgradation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and advancing high-quality development of the multi-billion dollar project in the second phase.

The two leaders held an in-depth discussion at the historic Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday.

The two leaders were accompanied by the ministers and senior officials. This was the first meeting of Sharif with President Xi since assuming office in 2024.

According to the state media, the two leaders showed consensus on the upgradation of the CPEC and advancing the development of the mega project in the second phase.

The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI is seen as an attempt by China to further its influence abroad with infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investments across the world.

China has also invested billions in various power projects and road networks in Pakistan under the USD 65 billion CPEC plan, but the implementation of various projects has slowed in recent months. PTI GSP NSA GSP