ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan has expressed interest in enhancing bilateral trade with Pakistan, saying that both countries have potential to promote trade relations in multiple sectors.
Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furkat A Sidikov visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and interacted with the local business community. “Both countries have been enjoying good political relations for long, it is now time to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations to achieve mutually beneficial results,” said Sidikov.
“Uzbekistan is manufacturing high quality tractors, agriculture machinery, heavy duty trucks and buses; Pakistani entrepreneurs should explore possibilities of importing these products from Uzbekistan as they would help improve agriculture productivity and transport facilities in the country,” he added.
He further said Uzbekistan was an energy-rich country that exported its surplus power to Russia, China and Afghanistan. “Our country is ready to cooperate with Pakistan to overcome the energy crisis.”
Commenting on current trade figures, Sidikov said lack of direct connectivity and information about business prospects was the major reason behind low trade volume between the two countries and added that direct flights will soon begin between Lahore and Tashkent from March this year.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh said the leadership of both countries agreed to strengthen ties by enhancing trade and improving connectivity. “Uzbek investors should explore joint-ventures and investment opportunities in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.”
He said many Pakistani products were going to Uzbekistan via Dubai and both countries should focus on promoting direct trade.
“Frequent exchange of trade delegations and single country exhibitions would be the most effective tools in promoting bilateral trade,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2016.