LAHORE: Tajikistan is keen to further strengthen trade & economic ties with Pakistan. Private sectors of the both sides should work hand in hand to tap the huge potential exist in Tajikistan and Pakistan.
These views were expressed by the Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan Sherali S. Jononov while talking to the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Saturday. LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir, Marufjon Abdurahmonov (Consul) and Honorary Consul Nazir Piracha also spoke on the occasion.
The Ambassador said that a number of Pakistani companies belonging to pharmaceutical, agriculture and livestock sectors are doing good business, the Ambassador added.
He said that bilateral trade between the two countries could be flourished through exchange of trade delegations and holding of single country exhibitions.
He said that China and Iran are used to hold single country exhibitions in Tajikistan therefore, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce should take lead in this regard.
He said that he was ready to arrange B-2-B meetings of Pakistani businessmen in Tajikistan provided the LCCI arranges a delegation.
He said that the embassy of Tajikistan in Islamabad would continue to facilitate Pakistani businessmen in getting visa on priority basis.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said both Pakistan and Tajikistan have good diplomatic relations and enjoy historical bonds of brotherhood but these ties are hardly reflected in two way trade.
The LCCI President said that the value of total imports from Tajikistan to Pakistan was lesser than half a million dollar in 2013. It is encouraging to see that the exports of Pakistan to Tajikistan have showed some improvements in recent years.
He said that in 2011, the value of total exports of Pakistan to Tajikistan was US$ 0.62 million which swelled to US$ 3.1 million and US$ 10.3 million in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz hoped that with the implementation of CASA 1000 which is an important project of World Bank, a new era of economic cooperation will take place. This will also lead to lay foundation for greater trade between two countries.
“We foresee positive results of the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif to Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe where he met with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon last year. It was desired to expand the bilateral trade to US$ 500 million and work for a Preferential Trade Agreement”, he added.
The LCCI president said that the Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan which is presently at early stage has the potential to bring these countries much close to each other.
He said that this agreement can go a long way in establishing a Common Transport Corridor in the region which would enhance regional trade and investment greatly and attract foreign investors due to its lucrative economic potential.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that desired results largely depend on the need for enhanced connectivity by air, road and rail and for facilitating travel, transit, transportation and tourism.
He said that a greater interaction between the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries, exchange of trade delegations, holding of single country exhibitions can increase the volume of bilateral trade.