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ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan Ulanbek Totuiaev on Sunday hoped that the CASA-1000 projects would be completed soon to meet Pakistan’s energy needs for enhancing the bilateral cooperation in this sector.

The CASA-1000 project, which was aimed to bring surplus electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan hydropower stations in summer times to Pakistan through the territory of Afghanistan, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan, Ulanbek Totuiaev told APP here.

The Ambassador said “This massive infrastructural project will be beneficial for all of its parties by fulfilling the energy needs and strengthening regional connectivity.

He said that nowadays the governments of participating states are actively working on the completion of the project.”

“Together with that, the process of building electricity lines is also going on,” he added.

“I strongly believe that the above-mentioned project will be completed successfully and on time for the benefit of our countries” he said

Question on future of the Quadrilateral Traffic and Transit Agreement (QTTA) among Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, he replied that due to some certain circumstances, such as the difficulties with transiting goods through the territory of Afghanistan, in past problems with crossing Chinese border because of COVID-19 pandemic and some other issues, the potential of QTTA was not being used in full manner.

He said the QTTA was signed on March 09, 1995 in Islamabad to facilitate transit traffic and trade among the member countries to provide an effective connectivity network between Central Asia and Gwadar port of Pakistan in Arabian Sea.

The Ambassador said “I would like to point out the problems with transit routes, particularly, in the winter period, when the main roads are being timely or permanently blocked.”

“In this regard, nowadays between the countries of the above-mentioned agreement there is a task to increase the efficiency of it by making certain amendments in accordance with the modern conditions, or finding other more convenient ways for transiting goods.”

Replying to another question, he said “Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan are highly close countries with deep historical, cultural and religious roots.”

Both Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan from ancient times were part of a single common region, he said.

Ambassador Totuiaev said “As evidence to it, it is possible to mention the legacies of the ruler of the Mogol Empire Zahriddin Babur, located in the south of Kyrgyzstan.”

He said “Due to this, there are many similarities in terms of culture, traditions, customs between the people of our countries.”

“Today the relations between two countries are characterized as fraternal and friendly,” he added.

“Therefore, the people of both our countries are highly interested in cooperation with each other in various spheres with primary focus on trade-economic cooperation,” he said.

Replying to a question on bilateral trade, he said that within last year the figures of Kyrgyz-Pakistani trade-economic interaction were not so high.

However, I with great optimism foresee the future rapid development of trade interaction between our states, especially taking into consideration the focus of both our governments, directed on enhancement of cooperation between the countries of the region.

He said “Kyrgyzstan can play an important role as link between South Asia and CIS countries together with countries of the European Union.”

At the same time, Pakistan might serve as the gateway from the countries of Central Asia to external markets, especially taking into account the large seaports, located in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, he added.

“I truly believe that these peculiarities will serve as a key point for future influence of the trade relations between our countries on regional connectivity” he said.

He said the bilateral trade between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan had a huge potential, which was, however, not fully explored and utilized.

“I call upon both sides to actively cooperate in order to overcome the problems which are influencing this issue,” he added.

The ambassador said that first of all, there was a lack of mutual awareness and as the representatives of business-circles of both sides were not completely aware of the trade-economic and investment opportunities.

“The effective trade between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan is possible in various spheres.”

However, in order to effectively use the existing potential, businessmen and companies should pay more attention to the trade opportunities and more actively interact with partners from each side.

Ambassador Totuiaev said that another key issue was the difficulties of logistic roots between both countries, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities with transiting good via the territories of Afghanistan, and China, and the absence of convenient road and railway connection.

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