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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, on Friday, proposed developing plan of action to remove trade barriers with Kazakhstan, organise exhibitions, and strengthen business-to-business linkages between the two countries.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, while addressing the Pakistan-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Joint Commission (IJC) highlighted the importance of developing a plan of action for improving trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

Sadiq called for establishing a Pak-Kazakh joint working group for collaboration in energy, mineral resources, and gemstone sectors to make most of these natural reserves. The minister said the trade volume between the two countries was recorded at just $ 163 million.

He said there was a lot of potential available that needs to be explored and highlighted that both the countries should develop a plan of action to raise the trade volume through enhanced trade activities and with removal of trade barriers.

He said holding of frequent joint business council meetings and facilitate businesses to introduce products into each others markets could also play a vital role in promoting the trade.

The minister expressed the hope that early finalisation and signing of transit trade agreement between the two sides would further enhance bilateral trade.

The minister said Pakistan and Kazakhstan enjoy good cordial relations that would be further strengthening through this forum, which was established back in 1993. He said IJC resulted in enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields including trade, investment, cultural exchange and tourism.

He expressed the hope that IJC would provide a solid base to consolidate relations to move forward for capitalization of economic opportunities available including investment, and trade to benefit people.

He said business and investment in Pakistan has improved and various agreements with Kazakhstan would further help enhance it.

He said promotion of tourism and culture was also a priority of Pakistan government as Pakistan was a beautiful place with huge diversity, having five out of 14 highest peaks of over 8,000 meters. He invited Kazakistan in tourism sector. He also underlined the need for cooperation in agriculture research as economy of both the countries has dependence on agriculture.

He said cooperation could be enhanced for value addition, processing and joint ventures.

He said cooperation could also be enhanced in higher education sector by exchange of faculty and students besides signing of agreements between various universities. He said Pakistan attaches importance to peaceful environment in neighborhood and invited Kazakhstan to be part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and benefit from it.

He said there was also need to have connectivity through rail, road, air besides cooperating in tapping the potential of natural resources and precious metals.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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