ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan wants to establish long-term bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in the fields of agriculture and livestock, Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiev said on Tuesday.
Mr Ganiev was leading a seven-member Uzbek delegation which met with Minister for National Food Security and Research Mehboob Sultan to discuss future collaboration in the agriculture sector between the two countries.
Last year, trade between the two countries increased three times but we are capable of increasing it ten times, noted Mr Ganiev. He further said that there is a great need for developing a transport corridor between the two countries as haulage is expensive despite a distance of only 700 kilometres.
On the occasion, Pakistan and Uzbekistan agreed to promote bilateral trade in the livestock sector and exchange of elite germ-plasm or genetic resources of cotton, wheat and rice with a view to develop high-yielding hybrids and varieties resistant to emerging stresses.
A draft memorandum of understanding has been prepared for signing by the two countries during the Pak-Uzbek Joint Inter-Governmental Commission meeting taking scheduled to take place in Tashkent later this year.
According to the draft agreement, the two countries would provide market access to each other’s livestock products. Pakistan and Uzbekistan would also work together for suitable agricultural technologies for adaptation to climate change.
Mr Sultan said that the draft agreement is important to institutionalise bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture. Pakistan, he said, firmly believes in direct trade between the two countries for the benefit of both economies. He added that in agricultural machineries, biological pest management both countries could enter into joint ventures.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2019