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Business & Finance

Pakistan’s luck with trade finally takes a turn for the better

Reliance on a few countries for trade dangerous in times of global uncertainty Pakistan can't afford to suffer
Updated 25 Feb 2020
  • Reliance on a few countries for trade dangerous in times of global uncertainty
  • Pakistan can't afford to suffer in the Trade War or the Coronavirus
  • Uzbekistan, Bulgaria and Hungary express interest and lay down plans to strengthen links with Pakistan

Pakistan has often relied on a few countries for most of their trade chiefly, China and the United States. This can adversely affect the economy if one or more of the trade partners are involved in a global crisis such as last year’s trade war or the current Coronavirus epidemic.

Pakistan’s trade diversification took promising steps this week with trade in several regions being improved as Bulgaria, Hungary and most recently, Uzbekistan signal strengthening trade ties.

Bulgarian Ambassador in Pakistan Aleksandar Parashkevov first expressed the nation’s interest in increasing trade between the two parties. He addressed the members of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI)  and highlighted the importance of enhancing mutual trade ties. “Both sides need to ponder on developing a strategy for bringing improvements,” he added.

Additionally, the Hungarian government through their Ambassador, Istvan Szabo, announced that the focus lies on collaborating on a range of programs with Pakistan including trade, education, public diplomacy and culture. He recognized that both countries have benefits that with increased trade will be realized. Following the statement, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Hungarian Ambassador and the All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) in an effort to promote trade links between Hungary and Pakistan.

Furthermore, earlier today, Uzbekistan became Pakistan’s main trade and economic partner in the Central Asian Repubics (CARs). The Uzbekistan Ambassador in Islamabad, Furqat Sidiqov, announced that volume of bilateral trade will be increased to 300 million US dollar from the current level of nearly 125 million dollars as trade grows fast from previous years.

Sidiqov went on to describe the importance of the sectors to actively invest in. He also recognized the importance of the business council and its efforts to solidify bilateral trade in both countries, “With the aid of Business Council, we have organized more than 30 bilateral business visits to Uzbekistan and Pakistan as well as organized 63 Pak-Uzbek business forums in the cities Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, Swabi and others.”

With Uzbekistan prioritizing trade with Pakistan, and Bulgaria, Hungary also coming by to strengthen linkages, it is an interesting phase in the trade outlook of the country.

The economy is indeed in a slump and if anything can improve the current dire situation, it is trade, trade and more trade.

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