ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan have discussed the establishment of trade routes and utilisation of Pakistani seaports to connect Central Asian Republics to the world.
Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi held a meeting with Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister for Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov here to discuss the establishment of trade routes and the viability of using Pakistan’s seaports for the facilitation of Central Asian Republics.
A dedicated terminal for goods from Central Asian States and ease in transit after the completion of the ML-1 project was discussed in detail. The meeting also proposed the establishment of a shipping fleet for central Asian exports to be dedicated to Pakistan’s seaports.
The meeting approved the formation of a joint working group to further discuss the modalities for the execution of this plan.
Zaidi said Pakistan would utilize its potential of regional connectivity by linking landlocked Central Asian Republics to the world through its seaports.
The trade volume of Uzbekistan and Pakistan has increased significantly in the past couple of years and with establishing an efficient trade corridor, it will increase manifold.
Pakistan has the requisite environment to benefit from this opportunity as the incumbent government’s business-friendly policies and the new shipping policy will strengthen Pakistan’s role in providing the shortest and cheapest routes to the world, hence making it a gateway to Central, South and Southeast Asia.
The Uzbek delegation included the first deputy minister of foreign affairs, first deputy minister for foreign trade and investments, deputy minister of transport and chairman of Uzbekistan Airways JSC.
Uzbekistan, a landlocked Central Asian Republic has export markets in gulf countries, southeast Asia, Europe and Africa. The cheapest route to these markets is through the Pakistani seaports.