CPEC opens doors to Islamabad, Bishkek Trade expansion

By Pervaiz Mughal | Gwadar Pro Jan 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: 28 January - CPEC has opened doors to Pak-Kyrgyz trade expansion, WealthPK reported on Friday.

Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan have had long-standing cultural, religious, and economic ties. Kyrgyzstan won its independence in 1991, ushering in a new era in Pakistan-Kyrgyzstan relations.

Pakistan recognized Kyrgyzstan almost immediately, and official diplomatic ties were established in 1992.

In order to develop commercial and trade links, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan work and cooperate in a variety of ways.

The opening of a branch of the National Bank of Pakistan in 2000 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, is one such case. This NBP branch closed recently, while 22 Pakistani banks are still operating there.

Furthermore, bilateral ties have been greatly strengthened, as both countries support and interact with each other at many international forums such as OIC, UN, ECO, SCO, and others.

Kyrgyzstan is a major provider of hydroelectricity in Central Asia because of its abundant water resources.

Pakistan is expected to acquire 1300-megawatt hydel electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan under the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Program (CASA-1000). By 2023, the project should be completed.

The Quadrilateral Traffic and Transit Agreement (QTTA) between Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, which is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, offers an excellent communication network between Central Asia and Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea, WealthPK reported.

Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, two CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation) nations that are close neighbors, may considerably benefit from enhanced regional connectivity and trade. Both nations are growing economies with substantial agricultural bases and significant strategic benefits to offer the alliance.

Despite regular high-level active engagement with each other, trading volume is quite modest. The current trade volume does not match the two sibling nations’ trading potential. –INP

According to WealthPK research, the trade volume in October 2021 was $2.14 million, increasing by $0.35 million (19.55%) from 2020. Since the beginning of their ties, the two countries have signed more than 35 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and cooperative documents.

Kyrgyzstan is interested in joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and benefiting from the Gwadar port’s vast economic potential.

The Kyrgyz ambassador recently stated that the expansion of CPEC provided significant potential for his country. With its second phase focused on agriculture and industrial collaboration, CPEC has been booming recently. CPEC’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) also provide several benefits.

Through CPEC projects and other key landscapes in Pakistan, Kyrgyz investors may take advantage of business and tourist prospects. Being members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), both nations are working to improve regional understanding on trade, investment, security cooperation, and people-to-people connections, according to the ambassador.

Because Kyrgyzstan and China share a long border, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan should make use of CPEC to improve connection and get a deeper understanding of each other’s markets.

Chinese firms are working on a number of projects aimed at improving the infrastructure of this mountainous nation, such as the North-South alternative road, which would better link the whole country.

For China, additional infrastructure, including a prospective railway route via Kyrgyzstan, would improve connectivity between the southern section of Xinjiang and Central Asia.

Kyrgyzstan is working hard to attract international investors, and the Belt and Road Initiative is helping to facilitate this with new infrastructure that will make transit around the country simpler.

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