ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has assured Uzbekistan that it will support the Central Asian state in joining the Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement (QTTA) aimed at providing China and Central Asia access to Pakistani ports.
Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Sardor Umurzakov requested Pakistan to support it in accession to the QTTA and share experience in achieving the GSP Plus status. In a conference call with Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, the two sides expressed the desire to enhance trade relations between the two countries. QTTA is an agreement between China, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to facilitate transit traffic and trade related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) aimed at providing China and Central Asia access to Pakistani ports.
It was resolved that all-out efforts would be made to enhance bilateral trade relations, establish joint ventures in the fields of agriculture, textile, pharmaceutical, tourism and construction.
It was also agreed to utilise institutions like the inter-governmental commission and the Joint Business Council for giving impetus to government-to-government and business-to-business cooperation. The Uzbek side expressed the desire to utilise Karachi and Gwadar Ports for trade operations and called for establishing a joint working group for trade and investment cooperation.
The commerce adviser apprised the Uzbek side that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up Pakistan-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment would be ready for signing after approval from Pakistan’s cabinet.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2020.
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