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Advisor to Prime Minister on Trade and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that the signing of Transit and Preferential Trade Agreements with Uzbekistan will give a major advantage to Pakistani goods.

Pakistan is set to sign trade agreements with Uzbekistan on July 15 to explore over $90-billion worth of export potential in Central Asia in a bid to achieve an unprecedented exports target of $35 billion set for fiscal year 2021-22.

“With the signing of these agreements, Pakistani goods entering Uzbekistan will get the same duty rates as Russia, China, and other Central Asian Republics, providing a level playing field,” said Dawood, while talking to a private channel.

The statement comes as Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to make an official visit to Uzbekistan on 15-16 July 2021. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the Foreign Minister and other members of the Cabinet. A large group of Pakistan’s leading businessmen will also visit Tashkent on the occasion.

Pakistan to sign trade agreements with Uzbekistan

As per the Foreign Office statement, “the wide-ranging talks between the two leaders will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on trade, economic cooperation, and connectivity. The leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.”

A number of agreements/MoUs are expected to be signed aimed at deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, said the FO.

Dawood said about 100 businessmen are visiting Uzbekistan to explore market of Pakistani products.

"We have to improve our banking relations with Uzbekistan," said Dawood, adding that during his upcoming visit, he, alongside a delegation of bankers, would meet officials of the Uzbekistan central bank and ask them to provide our bankers licences as a correspondent bank or open a ‘full fledge’ branch.

“We have a lot of products such as pharmaceuticals, engineering products, mobile phones, textiles and food products that have high potential,” he said.

Cabinet approves transit trade deal with Uzbekistan

Adviser to the Prime Minister said that the government will give incentives to the industrial sector to promote export of Pakistani products to Central Asian States.

The Advisor said Uzbekistan is also taking interest in Gwadar for boosting business to other part of the region.

Earlier, Dawood while talking to reporters said that the two countries have agreed to allocate dedicated space in Gwadar and Tashkent for establishing warehousing facilities to help each other in the transportation of goods to other regional countries.

"We have planned to transport goods under the TIR Convention because the first-ever truck from Uzbekistan reached Pakistan under the TIR Convention in 48 hours," he said. "The government is contemplating offering loans to the transporters to update the country's dilapidated logistics network," he said.

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