Uzbek official invites Pakistani businessmen
Uzbekistan Namangan Region Deputy Governor Inamov Okibjon Odiljonovich has invited Pakistani businessmen to visit Uzbekistan and take advantage of the opportunities by entering joint ventures with their Uzbek counterparts.
Addressing the business community at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday, he said that Uzbekistan was keen to enhance trade relations with Pakistan, as both countries had great potential to cooperate with each other in many areas of economy. He identified pharmaceutical, tourism, agriculture, food processing, automobile, construction, chemicals, oil & gas, mining and electrical & electronics as other potential areas of mutual cooperation.
He invited the LCCI to form a sector-specific delegation for Uzbekistan, adding that the role of LCCI holds importance for B2B (business to business) contacts between the two countries.
Also speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah expressed hope that the visit of government officials and private sector representatives from Namangan Region, that is the eastern part of Uzbekistan, will initiate a new era of close cooperation between two countries.
He lauded the government of Uzbekistan for sending this high-profile delegation to Pakistan in continuation of a virtual summit held between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in April this year. During this summit, multiple MoUs [memorandums of understanding] were signed and both countries agreed to reinforce ties in a number of sectors.
Sharing the bilateral trade figures, the LCCI president said that in 2018, the volume of two-way trade was around $20.7 million, which went up to $28 million dollars in 2019 due to rapid increase in Pakistan’s exports to Uzbekistan.
That trend continued and in 2020, the bilateral trade reached $34.3 million. He said that during the last three years, Pakistan’s imports from Uzbekistan increased from $3.3 million to $9.1 million whereas Pakistan exports to Uzbekistan went up from $17.4 million to $25.2 million.
“There is great potential for both countries to enhance trade and economic relations through joint ventures in textiles, pharmaceuticals, construction, renewable energy, tourism and automotive parts.”
Misbah said that absence of banking channels, difficulties in land route and communication are some of the major bottlenecks behind low trade volume.
“We are hoping that Trans-Afghan Railway Line project agreed among Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan would play a key role in linking the Central Asian transport network with Pakistan’s seaports of Gwadar, Karachi and Bin Qasim,” the LCCI president added.
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