ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Belarus have agreed to initiate joint ventures (JVs) in the textile, pharmaceutical and lighting solution industries while sharing technological expertise with each other.
In the meeting of the First Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission (JEC) that took place during Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir’s visit to Belarus, the modalities of these joint ventures were discussed, stated a release issued by the commerce ministry.
These ventures will open up new avenues for greater cooperation in diverse fields through private-public partnerships. Both sides expressed their resolve in undertaking concrete measures to enhance the volume of trade.
Dastgir and Belarus Minister for Commerce and Industry Vitaly M Vovk reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed satisfaction at the current trajectory of bilateral trade. Both reiterated their desire to further fortify relations.
Dastgir also emphasised the need to establish economically feasible air and sea routes for swift delivery of cargo. “Since Belarus is land-locked, the establishment of air-link is necessary for the exports of perishable items that have great demand in Belarus,” he said.
Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Miftah Ismail who is accompanying the minister apprised the prospective Belarusian investors of the emerging investment opportunities in Pakistan.
Pakistan exported $15.23 million worth of items to Belarus in 2014, out of which 36% was rice, 9.27% light pure woven cotton, 10.03% styrene polymers, 7.43% edible preparations, 4.48% leather apparel and 4% citrus.
Pakistan’s imports from Belarus stood at $42.65 million which mainly consisted of tractors (62.04%), artificial filament yarn (13.01%) and rubber tires (8.06%).
Pakistan intends to correct this trade imbalance by exporting more value-added items to Belarus. Tariff rationalisation for this purpose was also sought during the bilateral meetings and JEC.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2015.