In his meeting with deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan, prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said that he wants Uzbekistan to join China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as early as possible. Uzbekistan, a landlocked country of central Asia, therefore, must take a decision in this regard as early as possible.
Tashkent must not lose sight of the fact that Uzbekistan's impressive annual economic growth and rich energy resources and Pakistan's large agricultural base provide an ideal environment for expansion of trade and commercial co-operation between the two countries. And, the Gwadar port, the flagship of CPEC, can play a highly important role towards Uzbekistan's connectivity to the world in an effective and meaningful manner.
The prime minister has reportedly proposed that both countries work together for making appropriate reforms in trade policies to facilitate trade, investment and free flow of goods and services between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
In his response, the Uzbek leader said that all necessary steps would be taken to explore and exploit the huge business and trade opportunities between the two country. In other words, it increasingly appears that Uzbekistan, which shares borders with Afghanistan, will be joining CPEC anytime soon mainly because of the fact that Chabahar could not be an option for it. One must not lose sight of the fact that Iran-Uzbekistan relationship lacks warmth and depth.