Historic posts of the Silk Route were reopened by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan under its initiative 'Trade Caravan', currently in its second day at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Held at the Hyatt Hotel, around 45 companies and over 100 delegates were present to showcase Pakistani products from textile, pharma to fruit and handicrafts.
Pakistan's entry into the Central Asian region comes at a strategic time. The launching of the Eurasian Economic Union and Kyrgyzstan's entry in December, 2014, has created an opportunity for Pakistani goods to enter through Bishkek and then move freely to countries.
The restrictions on Turkish goods in Russia provide a strong opportunity for Pakistan to step in, especially in the area of textiles and leather. Items where Pakistan has trade complementarity with Turkey is at approximately $2 billion. If even 50% of this market is tapped, Pakistan stands to gain an easy billion in trade with Russia. Furthermore, the long awaited opening of the Chinese trade corridor, after realignment of the KKH at Attabad, paves the way for unhindered trade through Sust to Kashgar onto Bishkek and further into Central Asia.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2016.
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