Pakistan, Uzbekistan to up trade tune to $300m

Uzbek firms may develop production units in SEZs under CPEC: Khusro

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OUR CORRESPONDENT

ISLAMABAD

Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Monday agreed to strengthen bilateral trade, setting the target of touching $300 million as trade volume. The agreement was reached during the delegation-level talks as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiev led their respective sides here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two sides discussed implementation of the decisions taken by their leaderships in previous high-level meetings. Foreign Minister Qureshi said the visit of Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister to Pakistan would strengthen economic strategic partnership and enhance regional cooperation.

He said Pakistan wanted to strengthen relations with Central Asian states. Uzbekistan’s ministers for Transport, Investment and Foreign Trade also attended the meeting.

The two sides underscored the need for greater communication network to realize trade potential between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Prior agreements on trade and developments were reviewed, consensus between both parties was reached on boosting the current bilateral trade to $300 million.

FM Qureshi stated that the Deputy Minister’s visit with accompanying dignitaries will help in bridging gaps between the two countries. Qureshi also expressed a desire to build stronger ties with South Asian countries. Ganiev expressed his joy and pleasure upon the meeting and termed it fruitful.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has underlined that establishing transport and energy corridors would not only enhance regional connectivity but also boost trade and investment. He stated that Uzbek companies can develop production lines in special economic zones under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework for mutual benefit of both countries. The Minister said this during a delegation level meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Elyor Majidovich Ganiyev, here on Monday.

Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furqat Sidikov, Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, members Planning Commission and senior official of the ministry were also present in the meeting. The minister highlighted that by 2050 electricity demand in Pakistan would reach 50,000 MW adding that Pakistan was committed to CASA-1000 energy project being financed by World Bank.

Makhdum Khusro apprised that Pakistan was planning to upgrade its railway system from Peshawar to Karachi to further boost economic activities.

The visiting dignitary informed that Uzbekistan had constructed a railway line from Tashkent to Mazar-e-Sharif which can be extended to Peshawar thereby enhancing regional connectivity and trade.

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