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KARACHI: Vice President of Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Ahmad Jawad said we are expecting that our horticulture items’ exports to Russia will increase from existing volume of $100 million to $200 million.

He said the total volume of Pakistani export to Russia is $200 million out of which around 50 percent ($100 million) is contributed by horticulture sector (fruit and vegetable).

Presently we have surplus crop of potato in Punjab and hopefully we can also fetch orders of its import from Russia. He also feared Ukraine is the leading country when it comes to reserves of iron, titanium, and non-metallic raw materials. Russia’s fight with Ukraine will spill over the coal and electricity sector and it will affect other industries and might it affects us too.

Now the government is eager to want that Russia completed gas pipeline project from Karachi to Kasur and meet our energy needs for future because our gas reserves are not going to meet country industry and domestic requirements.

“I think it will be a good venture for us in the view of economic prospects.” Jawad also sees a major shift to increase bilateral trade between two countries. Russia and China could be our major block in exports for future if we want to sustain. We have to shift our old pattern of exports.

We have to see Pakistan priorities and in this regard Russia is a big market for us whether in textiles, agriculture and other allied sectors. Now swap arrangements for trade could also be worked if trade sanctions may be placed by the west.

Ahmad Jawad also said it’s a new set of beginnings of relationship between two countries regardless in the past, Pakistan and Russia could not develop close ties because neither country fully trusted the other. However, given the mutual benefits to building relations, both countries are trying to move forward past lingering mistrust. For instance, Russia is apprehensive of Pakistan’s close alliances with the West, which have been established since early Cold War years, and it is now observing the nature of Pakistan’s deepening strategic relations with China.

Likewise, Islamabad is used to concerned of Russia’s strategic relations with India in past. Over the last decade, with shifts in the international system (e.g., Russia’s resurgence under Pres. Vladimir Putin and the deterioration of US relations with Russia and Pakistan) have provided both countries a Machiavellian common cause by which to re-evaluate their mutual relations.

Now there was a “new approach and a new mindset for Russia” in Pakistan because Russia was a player for stability on the global stage. “Islamabad wants to build a relationship of trust and friendship with the Russian Federation.”

The visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Moscow termed emerging axes, new equations: Pak-Russia dynamics in a changing world. The PBF VP also viewed Russia Ukraine conflict may be seen and resolved on the account of regional stability and hoped it will resolved.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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