ISLAMABAD: Belarusian Ambassador Dr Andrei M Ermolovich has expressed interest to increase cooperation with Pakistan as both countries possess potential to enhance bilateral trade.
While speaking to businessmen during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the ambassador said Belarus was one of the most industrialised countries located in the heart of Europe and by promoting trade with it, Pakistan could have better access to the region.
“Automobiles, construction, agriculture, energy, information technology, steel, furniture, household equipment, textiles, meat and dairy sectors are potential areas of cooperation between the two countries,” said the ambassador.
He said his country had signed a customs union agreement with Russia and Kazakhstan, which Pakistani exporters could use to get free access to these countries by promoting exports with Belarus.
He said the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was ready to sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the ICCI to promote mutually advantageous commercial and industrial interests between the two countries.
Ermolovich said that Belarus was still waiting for the appointment of a focal person by the Pakistani government to strengthen trade and economic relations between the two countries.
He was hopeful that the planned establishment of railway links between Pakistan and Turkey would facilitate promotion of trade as it would shorten the route and provide better access to Pakistan to Scandinavian countries.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI Acting President Shakeel Munir said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Belarus was just $215 million in 2013, which could be improved significantly by encouraging frequent exchange of business delegations.
He said Belarus should assist Pakistan with technology transfer and sharing expertise, especially in the fields of energy, mining, transport, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and other technical areas.
“Pakistan offers lucrative incentives to foreign investors and Belarusian investors should explore the country for investment and joint ventures,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2014.