Islamabad: Mr. Furkat A. Sidikov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and interacting with local business community said that his country was keen to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to promote trade relations in multiple areas.
He said Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoyed good political relations since long, but it was the need of the hour to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations to achieve mutually beneficial results.
He said Uzbekistan was manufacturing high quality tractors, agriculture machinery, heavy duty trucks and buses and stressed that Pakistani entrepreneurs should explore possibilities of importing these products from Uzbekistan that would help in improving agriculture productivity and transportation facilities in Pakistan.
He said Uzbekistan was energy-rich country exporting its surplus power to Russia, China and Afghanistan and was ready to cooperate with Pakistan in overcoming its energy woes. He said lack of direct connectivity and information about business prospects was the major reason of low volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
However, he said direct flights will be started between Lahore and Tashkent in March this year that would greatly help in promoting bilateral trade between the two countries. He said ICCI should take a business delegation to explore business opportunities in Uzbekistan and assured that his Embassy would fully cooperate to make its visit successful.
Speaking at the occasion, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry briefed the Ambassador about investment potential in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy.
He said Uzbek investors should explore joint ventures and investment opportunities in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which would create plenty of business opportunities for local and foreign investors.
He said during the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Uzbekistan in November 2015, the leadership of both countries had agreed to strengthen their ties by enhancing trade and improving connectivity which has created new hopes for businessmen of both countries.
He said many Pakistani products were going to Uzbekistan via Dubai and both countries should focus on promoting direct trade that would be more beneficial for their people.
He said many Pakistani products including pharmaceuticals, IT, surgical goods and others have good potential in Uzbekistan and there was a need to build rail link between Pakistan and Uzbekistan to make considerable improvement in trade activities. He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and holding single country exhibitions were the most effective tools to promote bilateral trade and stressed that both governments should facilitate businessmen in undertaking these ventures.
Sheikh Pervez Ahmed Senior Vice President and Sheikh Abdul Waheed Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry also spoke at the occasion and highlighted potential areas of cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan