Uzbekistan keen on enhancing bilateral trade with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan Furkat A Sidikov said on Wednesday that his country was keen to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to promote trade relations in multiple areas.

During his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and interaction with local business community, he said that Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoyed good political relations since long, but it was the need of the hour to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations to achieve mutually beneficial results.

The Uzbek envoy said his country was manufacturing high quality tractors, agriculture machinery, heavy-duty trucks and buses, and stressed that the Pakistani entrepreneurs should explore possibilities of importing these products from Uzbekistan that would help in improving agriculture productivity and transportation facilities in Pakistan.

He said that Uzbekistan was energy-rich country exporting its surplus power to Russia, China and Afghanistan and was ready to cooperate with Pakistan in overcoming its energy woes.

He said lack of direct connectivity and information about business prospects was the major reason of low volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

However, he said direct flights would be started between Lahore and Tashkent in March this year that would greatly help in promoting bilateral trade between the two countries.

The ambassador said that ICCI should take a business delegation to explore business opportunities in Uzbekistan and assured that his embassy would fully cooperate to make the visit successful.

Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh briefed the ambassador about investment potential in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

He said the Uzbek investors should explore joint ventures and investment opportunities in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which would create plenty of business opportunities for local and foreign investors.

He said during the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Uzbekistan in November 2015, the leadership of both countries had agreed to strengthen their ties by enhancing trade and improving connectivity, which has created new hopes for businessmen of both countries.

He said many Pakistani products were going to Uzbekistan via Dubai and both countries should focus on promoting direct trade that would be more beneficial for their people.

The ICCI president said many Pakistani products including pharmaceuticals, IT, surgical goods and others have good potential in Uzbekistan and there was a need to build rail link between Pakistan and Uzbekistan to make considerable improvement in trade activities.

He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and holding single country exhibitions were the most effective tools to promote bilateral trade and stressed that both governments should facilitate businessmen in undertaking these ventures. ICCI Senior Vice President Sheikh Pervez Ahmed and Vice President Sheikh Abdul Waheed also spoke on the occasion and highlighted potential areas of cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

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