Pakistani investors lag behind in Tajikistan

Envoy seeks capital injection into Central Asian state’s free zones

Our Correspondent November 29, 2017
Container boxes are seen at a port. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Tajikistan Ambassador Jononov Sherali has stressed that his country wants to further enhance trade and investment relations with Pakistan as geographical locations of both countries provide them with great potential to cooperate in many areas.

Speaking to the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Sherali identified energy, cement, transport, mining, agriculture and tourism as potential areas of cooperation.

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Tajikistan was among top 10 countries of the world in the ease of doing business in 2010, 2011 and 2014, which indicates that the Central Asian state is quite attractive for business and investment.

The envoy gave a comprehensive presentation on the investment opportunities in Tajikistan, which had established four free economic zones where Chinese and Turkish investors were pouring significant capital.

However, he pointed out that Pakistani investors were losing the opportunities and suggested that they should invest in Tajikistan for the export of products to the huge Central Asia market.

Tajikistan is also working to restart direct flights to Pakistan in an attempt to support trade relations.

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Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed emphasised that Pakistan and Tajikistan should focus on developing strong connectivity between their private sectors to explore all untapped areas.

He said Tajikistan should share its expertise and technology in hydroelectric power generation to help Pakistan overcome its energy problems. A major hurdle in the way of improving bilateral trade is the absence of a direct transport facility. He urged both countries to focus on forging direct road, railway and air links.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2017.

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