ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Yerzhan Kistafin visited the Capital Office Islamabad of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and industry to meet the Vice President Mr. Umar Masood Ur Rehman. During the meeting, establishing banking ties, Railway route, resume direct flights, matters of mutual interest including strengthening of cordial relations, increase in bilateral trade, and promotion of investment and frequent exchange of delegations between the two countries were discussed at length.
Umar Masood Ur Rehman said that Pakistan offers bright prospects of joint ventures and investment in the areas of textiles, marble, mining, energy, agro-based industries, etc. He said that both countries have strong diplomatic, historical, religious and political linkages but we have yet to succeed in exploiting the untapped trade potential to become key trading partners. The main items of Pakistan’s exports to Kazakhstan include rice, oil seeds and fresh fruits etc. whereas the imports from Kazakhstan comprise mostly of chemicals. There is considerable potential for Pakistan to enhance its exports to Kazakhstan in areas of pharmaceuticals, value added textiles, leather items, auto parts, ceramics and furniture etc.
He further said that the businessmen of the Province of Khybar Pakhtunkhwa are willing to invest somewhere and it is suggested to take them to Kazakhstan to explore the potential avenues. Mr. Sikandar Khan, group leader Charsada CCI, Muhammad Saleem Awan, President, Umair Khalid, Vice President, Sajid Khan, Ec member, Haripur CCI, M Zahid Patyala, Vice President, Mandi Bahudin CCI, Sheikh Abdul Waheed, Member Islamabad CCI participate on this occasion.
The participants also gave various suggestions to Excellency, regarding promotion of trade between the two countries, solutions to problems faced by the business community, Transportation, direct flight from Kazakhstan to Peshawar, extension of Kazakhstan-Iran Railway to Pakistan and banking system. Axel Change at Taftan Border is the need of hour to increase the trade with low expenditure.
On the occasion the honorable Ambassador of Kazakhstan Mr. Yerzhan Kistafin said that Pakistan is a regional power and bolstering cooperation between the two countries will be helpful for the entire Central Asian Region besides jacking-up the two-way trade to the new height. Many Pakistani products such as sports goods, medicines and surgical instruments have good potential for trade in Kazakhstan. He said that Kazakhstan and Pakistan have exemplary diplomatic relations which can be extended to new areas of cooperation. Good relations between both the countries need to be reflected in bilateral trade and commercial ties. Pakistan is a very promising market due to its large population and it is attractive to foreign investors.
The Ambassador said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province is geographically important and the gateway to Central Asia. He also expressed his interest to visit various Chambers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The direct air connectivity from Peshawar to Nur Sultan is now becoming essential for both countries particularly for the benefit of the business communities.
He also informed that some Kazakhstani banks have approached Pakistan banks to connect each other for the facilitation of traders and exporters. He said that the banking problem will be resolved soon. He also added that train service is being finalized between Kazakhstan and Iran, which will be extended to Pakistan in future.
He also said that Kazakhstan is the biggest landlocked country in the world and we understand the importance of regional connectivity. Afghanistan could be the most beneficial country if trade increases between Pakistan and Kazakhstan though it. There is a need for direct communication between businessmen and people of the two countries. He said that the private sectors of the two countries should step into joint ventures in textiles, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, education and other sectors of the economy. Pakistan can also get access to the other countries through Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia with large oil and natural gas reserves.