ISLAMABAD: CEO Harvest Tradings and Member Export, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), Ahmad Jawad has observed that Dushanbe is an emerging market for Pakistani products.
Talking to PPI, he said it's time to look for new destinations of trade on the basis of mutually beneficial business as trade is the only source to bring peace and overcome financial crisis.
Jawad said Tajikistan, which is only few miles away from Pakistani border, is important gateway to other central Asian courtiers. National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) branch in Dushanbe which was opened few days back use as excellent banking channel on both sides for trade. He said Pakistan's sea ports provide the shortest distance for Tajik trade shipments.
Tajikistan has a lot of scope to boost bilateral trade for the mutual benefit of the people of two countries, during a market survey of Dushanbe, it was found that many Pakistani products like pharmaceutical products, medicines are already exported to this country, he said, adding the profit margin on other products like in fruits and vegetables, sanitary items and other products are 80 to 500 per cent subject to explore this market with proper strategy.
He further said that promotion of ties with Tajikistan would not only benefit Pakistani exporters but also help enhance people to people contact.
He called upon all the Pakistani chambers of commerce to think about this market. Tajikistan has low import duties while the currency is stable and one Sumoni is equivalent to 20 Pakistani Rupees. He further briefed, almost 85 to 90 per cent of commodity markets in Dushanbe (the capital) were being run by women, he added. According to Ahmad Jawad, the policy shift to look east, is not only to have good trade ties with central Asian states but also Russia, as Pakistani exporters have traditionally focused on the European part of Russia. Eastern or Siberian Russia which, contrary to common knowledge, has cities with sizeable population remained neglected by Pakistani exporter. Jawad highlighted that even if we manage to get one per cent from this route, our export earnings will increase by half a billion dollars.
To strengthen more economic ties, Pak-Tajikistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry should also be formulated for the help of private sector; he urged It is also worth mentioning here that other states like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan with a combined gross domestic product of $207 billion and a population of 66 million offer a sizeable market for Pakistan's goods, services as they are trying to enhance the trade relations with Pakistan.