President Mamnoon Hussain will pay an official visit to China from February 18 to 20, an official statement said on Tuesday. This is his first state visit abroad after assuming office and he

will hold summit-level talks with President Xi Jinping. He will also have meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China.

Soon after the announcement of the historic Pakistan-China economic corridor, the two countries have started planning the implementation of infrastructure projects. This visit is a reiteration of Pakistan's

commitment to establish close ties with its long-standing strategic partner, the statement said.

During the President's visit, the second meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor will be held on February 18.. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform will lead the Pakistan delegation to attend the meeting. The JCC will finalize the implementation of mutually agreed projects of the Economic Corridor.

Economic cooperation between Pakistan and China has expanded significantly in recent years. Under a comprehensive framework Pakistan and China have bilateral economic cooperation in the form of

Joint Economic Commission, Economic Cooperation Group, Joint Energy Working Group and a Joint Investment Committee, besides several other mechanisms. The trade volume has crossed US$ 12 billion, with Pakistan's exports increasing by 48 per cent.