Beijing: Citing the booming Sino-India trade, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday expressed concern over his country's comparatively lower volume of trade with all weather ally China and blamed the previous regimes for not taking proper steps to advance business ties with Beijing.

Sharif said he would set up a "China Cell" in his office to supervise progress of Chinese projects and pursue the execution of Chinese projects to steer Pakistan out of the energy crisis.

Speaking at the Chinese city of Guangzhou about the achievement of his six-day tour, Sharif said, “The trade volume of Pakistan with China stood at USD 12 billion compared to India's over USD 66 billion last year.”

The concern was apparently that China-Pakistan trade volume was low despite the "all weather ties", while Sino-India trade posted higher volumes despite troubled ties. The India-China trade posted over USD 74 billion in 2011 and the two countries set the target of USD 100 billion by 2015.

"Such a situation was not prevailing during 1990-91 and what happened required deep probe," Sharif said.

He regretted that the steps which were required during the last one decade had not been taken and reiterated that tough measures should be taken to address the issues, as Pakistan was currently facing law and order situation, energy crises and other issues.

He said he had held very fruitful meetings with the Chinese leadership including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during which the two sides inked eight new agreements including setting the economic corridor.

(Agencies)

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