LAHORE: Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Yurivich Dedov said that businessmen should explore the untapped market of Russia as Pakistani products are sufficient in quality standards to gain a market share.
The ambassador, while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), added that both countries should take sector-specific measures to enhance mutual trade that currently does not reflect the existing potential.
Dedov expressed optimism that both Pakistani and Russian businessmen could enter into joint ventures to benefit each other in their respective businesses and propel bilateral trade to new heights.
“Russia has a lot to offer to the business community of Pakistan,” he said. “Meanwhile, Pakistani businessmen can learn a lot from Russia’s technological upgradation of industrial units.”
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz said that Pakistan is grateful to the Russian Federation for the help in establishing a steel mill in Karachi.
Despite the steel mill being the biggest source of steel products – catering to the demand of the country – no major initiative has been taken since then by the Russian Federation.
The LCCI chief said that both countries need to better their relations for mutual benefit and to play a role to create sustainable balance in the international market.
He said that Pakistan’s share in Russia’s total foreign trade is insignificant, while the trade balance is also in the favour of Russia.
Mumtaz said that despite bilateral trade between the two countries increasing gradually, it was not satisfactory and there was a lot of scope to enhance the mutual trade volume.
He said that the Russian Federation is a market of great importance for Pakistan. The LCCI chief added that Pakistan could export textile, garments, rice, leather, sports goods, surgical equipment and pharmaceuticals, while Russia can enhance exports of power equipment, steel, urea and chemicals to Pakistan.
He said that the oil and gas sector in Pakistan offers great opportunity to Russia, which has the requisite experience and technology in this field. Mumtaz said that Russia could evaluate the possibilities of collaboration with Pakistan for mining marble and granite as well.
He said Pakistan’s private sector could take the lead in exporting various types of consumer goods to Russia and in return, Russia could also help in introducing Pakistani products in the areas of its influence.
Mumtaz added that the profiles of Pakistani and Russian economies suggest brighter chances for joint ventures in sectors like food processing, oil, gas and mineral exploration, energy, engineering, transport equipment, automobiles, tractors, harvesters, machine tools, cement, fertilisers, industrial chemicals, plastic and rubber products, home appliances among others.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2014.
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