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LAHORE: Ambassador of Tajikistan Ismatullo Nasredin on Thursday called for measures to cement trade and economic relations between the two countries.

He was speaking at a meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said that Pakistan and Tajikistan should enhance mutual economic relations and the two countries should remove the impediments in this regard. He said that bilateral trade between the two countries could be flourished through exchange of trade delegations and holding of single country exhibitions.

LCCI Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that despite having immense potential of trade, the bilateral trade volume remained limited to 8 million dollars in 2019 which stood at 13 million dollars in 2018.

He said that the level of two way trade can be increased manifold by exploring diverse sectors of economy of both the countries. He said that if the effective measures are taken, the bilateral trade volume can be enhanced to 500 million dollars.

He added that Pakistan’s exports to Tajikistan consist of sugar, dairy products and pharmaceuticals etc. while the imports comprise cotton yarn only. The potential areas where Pakistan and Tajikistan can enhance trade and economic ties are hydro power generation, Halal meat, cement, pharmaceutical products, furniture, rice and LPG etc. He said that there are a number of agreements already signed to enhance cooperation in various fields between both countries. These agreements need to be focused and completed for further strengthening these relations.

He said that by developing direct air routes, rail network and road infrastructure, the bond between two countries can be further strengthened. In addition to that Wakhan Corridor can also be utilized for that purpose as it further shortens the trade route and reduces lead time.

The LCCI Vice President said that the CPEC project is a great opportunity for Tajikistan to get access to the Arabian Sea and the wider world via Pakistani warm water deep seaports.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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