Pakistan offers Uzbekistan to be a part of CPEC
by Kaswar Klasra
ISLAMABAD,July.15(Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan and Uzbekistan have decided to develop interbank cooperation to create favorable conditions for the further development of trade.
The breakthrough came on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, when Pakistan and Uzbekistan hold sixth meeting of the Uzbek-Pakistani Intergovernmental Commission.
"Two sides agreed to finalize bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement within three months, which will become a legal impetus for further increase in trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Pakistan. Both countries have decided to organize Uzbek-Pakistani specialized exhibitions (Made in Uzbekistan/Made in Pakistan) in Tashkent and Islamabad to promote a wide range of export goods and to facilitate the attraction of leading companies in pharmaceuticals, textile, leather, production of construction materials, and agriculture industries and transport & logistics services of both countries," stated a press note issued from Pakistan's Ministry of Trade and Industries on Wednesday.
Experts in Pakistan termed this development significant and helpful for the two sides which are working together to make Uzbekistan a part of CPEC.
Pakistan has already invited land-locked Central Asian State Uzbekistan to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and has maintained that both countries need to formulate a joint integrated strategy to exploit the potential of trade in the region, especially given CPEC.
Financial experts said the development of interbank cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a significant step that will ease the doing of business between the two brotherly countries.
It is worth noting that on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation (hereinafter - IGC) was held in Tashkent on July 14, 2021. The IGC meeting was co-chaired from the Uzbekistan side by Mr. Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade and from the Pakistani side by Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser for Commerce and Investment to Prime Minister.
Parties recognized the importance of closer collaboration for post-COVID recovery to sustainably recover through technology, innovation, and economic partnership, aiming at increased economic diversification, sustainable growth, building supply chain resilience, and robust regulatory environments.
"Two sides agreed that trans-Afghan corridor which connects Uzbekistan and Pakistan will play an important role in enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries. Both sides agreed to expedite the implementation of the project. The co-chairs expressed satisfaction on holding the inaugural Joint Business Council meeting on the sidelines of Joint Ministerial Commission meeting," an official handout issued from the Pakistan Ministry of Trade and Industries stated on Wednesday.
The parties agreed to deepen partnership in the field of industrial cooperation, including by organizing joint ventures in the field of the textile industry, assembly of agricultural machinery, processing and packaging of fruit and vegetable products.
It was agreed to deepen cooperation in the energy and mineral sector, agriculture, transportation and communication, labor, education, tourism, science and technology, technoparks, housing and communal services, intercity collaborations, standards, meteorology, culture, and youth affairs.
It was also agreed to form Joint Working Groups on Agriculture, IT, Education, and Mineral Sectors. Mr. Umarzakov thanked Pakistan for taking the relationship with Uzbekistan to a strategic partnership level.
Pakistan desires to forge closer ties with Uzbekistan in areas of trade, investment, energy, and people-to-people exchanges in which CPEC will play an important role.
The Republic of Uzbekistan has been pursuing "holistic" policies to enhance its regional connectivity for achieving desired goals of socio-economic prosperity, regional integration, poverty eradication, energy cooperation, and last but not least mass industrialization. Thus, CPEC may hold the "key" of success in achieving regional connectivity.
Uzbekistan’s reconnect with South Asia through Pakistan offers the “shortest routes”. It has various “seaports” to benefit/connect Uzbekistan not only with South Asia and beyond.
Earlier this year, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Dr. Abdulaziz Kamilov paid a personal visit to Pakistan and met Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed matters of regional connectivity and further strengthening of activities of trade and commerce.
During the meeting, Pakistani Prime Minister Khan emphasized the importance of economic development and enhanced bilateral trade through enhanced regional connectivity and termed it as the "cornerstones" of economic growth and development for both countries.