ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan have signed a memorandum of understanding for establishment of a joint working group on trade and economic affairs for promoting economic relationship.

The MoU will help both sides to identify areas for trade enhancement, promotion of inter-governmental projects in different sectors and improvement of connectivity.

A nine-member delegation headed by Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Sardor Umurzakov arrived on Thurs­day and called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Talking to the media soon after the arrival of the delegation, Commerce Adviser said Pakistan desires to strengthen its relations with the central Asian states in diverse fields.

He expressed the confidence that the visit of the Uzbek deputy prime minister will help further promote trade between the two countries.

In a meeting with the commerce adviser both sides agreed to start negotiations for a bilateral Early Harvest Plan, proceeding to Preferential Trade Agreement to provide increased market access to each other’s products.

It was also agreed to have mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) for harmonisation of standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. It was also agreed to arrange a business forum for the private sector of both countries.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan resolved to optimally utilise trade and investment opportunities and work expeditiously to achieve the shared goal of strengthening political and commercial ties.­

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2020