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RAWALPINDI: In an ongoing effort to enhance land route connectivity between Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics (CARs), a high-level delegation of the National Logistics Cell (NLC) visited Kazakhstan to discuss trade and logistics cooperation.

Led by Major General Farrukh Shahzad, DG NLC, the delegation engaged in extensive discussions with representatives and senior officials of the Kazakh government. The NLC delegation met with Serik Zhumangarin, the honorable Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Trade and Integration, and briefed him on the organization's successful logistics operations utilizing various land routes. DG NLC informed that NLC has completed round trips to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and China, leveraging the Transport InternationauxRoutiers (TIR) instruments and bilateral transit trade agreements.

This meeting followed the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Commission for Trade-Economic, Scientific, Technical, and Cultural Cooperation held in Pakistan in December 2022. During the session, the Kazakh delegation engaged with representatives from the business communities, officials from Pakistani seaports, and NLC.

Serik Zhumangarin emphasized the significance of Pakistan as a key trade partner for Kazakhstan in South Asia. He highlighted the substantial potential in supplying 80 processed goods items to the Pakistani market, valued at 411.9 million US dollars.

The Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister stressed that expanding cooperation in transport and logistics is vital for further enhancing trade relations between the two countries. He expressed Kazakhstan's interest in Pakistani ports at Gwadar, Karachi, and Qasim, as they offer opportunities to promote exports to Pakistan, South Asia, and tap into the region's full potential for transit trade. Additionally, he suggested exploring mutual delivery of goods by land through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan, utilizing the seaports of the Middle Corridor via Iran or China, as well as land transport via the Karakoram Highway through Kyrgyzstan, China, and onward to Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Maj Gen Rao highlighted Kazakhstan's importance as a destination for the NLC, mentioning that the organization has already dispatched two convoys through Afghanistan in the past month. He further stated that more convoys are planned to move through China in the near future.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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