KARACHI : Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia improved to $660 million in first 10 months of the ongoing calendar year and it was expected to go up to around $750-$800 million by year-end, revealed Russia Trade Representative Yury Kozlov.
Speaking at a meeting at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Kozlov said although there was great potential of boosting the existing trade volume between the two countries, the increase had been gradual mainly due to a lack of direct banking channels.
“In this regard, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Central Bank of Russian Federation signed a memorandum of understanding in January 2018. But the progress has been too slow as not much has happened since then, therefore, state banks of both countries will have to act more energetically.”
Kozlov pointed out that Russia was engaged in numerous projects and was cooperating with Pakistan in the construction of the North-South gas pipeline between Karachi and Lahore. It was also engaged in a project at the Jamshoro power plant for the production of 600 megawatts of electricity.
“Russia has offered assistance for the expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills while Russia’s Gazprom has also expressed interest in financing the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project,” he revealed.
The Russian trade representative emphasised that Russian companies were keen to explore opportunities in Pakistan whereas the business and industrial community associated with the Karachi Chamber should look into the possibility of participating in trade exhibitions in Russia.