Uzbekistan for increased trade with Pakistan

Published December 8, 2018
Bilateral trade between the two countries improves from $36 million in 2017 to over $90 million in 2018. — File
Bilateral trade between the two countries improves from $36 million in 2017 to over $90 million in 2018. — File

ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan is all set to become the biggest trading partner of Pakistan from Central Asia as the bilateral trade between the two countries improved from $36 million in 2017 to over $90 million in 2018.

Uzbekistan and Pakistan have the potential to increase the two-way trade volume up to $1 billion in next 5 to 6 years, said Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furqat A Sidikov, while addressing business community here at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

The central Asian country has over $500 million bilateral trade with Afghanistan. The country mainly exports utility meters, wheat, dried legumes and chocolate to Afghanistan.

Sidikov said Uzbekistan is interested in joint ventures with Pakistan in agricultural machinery, electronics, textiles and many other fields. He said that Central Asian country wanted a trilateral agreement of transit trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to boost trade to higher levels.

He added that Uzbekistan was also keen to build a railway link with Pakistan through Afghanistan that would make Pakistan an international hub of business activities. The ambassador also said that Uzbekistan was desirous of signing a free trade agreement with Pakistan that could boost trade.

He said that Uzbekistan had conducted direct flights between Lahore and Tashkent and in future flights from Karachi and Islamabad to Tashkent including cargo flights could also be arranged.

Pak-Uzbek Business Council was playing a facilitation role for the business community of both countries to improve trade and emphasized that Pakistani entrepreneurs should take benefit of this platform to promote trade relations with Uzbekistan, he added.

Speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said Pakistan accorded great importance to its close relations with Uzbekistan.

Moughal stressed the need for enhanced bilateral cooperation highlighting that Uzbekistan could provide easy access for Pakistan to Central Asia, Europe and Russian markets while Pakistan could provide better access to Uzbekistan to reach South Asia, Middle East, Africa and other markets.

He said Pakistan could export many products to Uzbekistan including food products, textiles, pharmaceuticals, surgical and sports goods. Similarly, Uzbekistan could export oil and gas, minerals and other products to Pakistan.

He urged that strong efforts should be made for the materialisation of Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement that would remove trade barriers and bring huge benefits to all the parties.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2018

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Unyielding onslaught
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...
X diplomacy
Updated 12 Jun, 2024

X diplomacy

Both states can pursue adversarial policies, or come to the negotiating table and frankly discuss all outstanding issues, which can be tackled through dialogue.
Strange decisions
12 Jun, 2024

Strange decisions

THE ECP continues to wade deeper and deeper into controversy. Through its most recent decision, it had granted major...
Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...