Islamabad, June 16, 2016 (PPI-OT):Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan has said that Pakistan wants to conclude bilateral arrangements of transit trade and Preferential Trade Agreement with Tajikistan this year in order to generate massive trade and investment activity between Pakistan and Central Asian states. The Minister made these remarks in a meeting with the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Usmonzoda Usmonali Yunusali in Islamabad.
Ministry of Commerce has provided the Tajik trade authorities with the draft of the proposed PTA on which further negotiations will take place. Mr. Dastagir said that Pakistan wants to enter into a larger trade facilitation framework with the Central Asian states to alleviate the unwanted restrictions which bar trade and investment to flourish freely. He said that the CASA-1000 project will provide the basis to convert that transmission zone into energy corridor where energy grids can flow both ways.
The Tajik Minister said that the energy and road projects are extremely vital for the Tajik economy and the Tajik Government is pursuing them aggressively. He said that upon successful completion of the CASA-1000 project the two counties may explore the possibility of another relatively smaller electricity line through Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan into Pakistan.
Mr. Yunusali hinted at imported oil form Middle East and refining it in Pakistan before taking it up North to Tajikistan through a pipeline. This would diversify the energy procurement options of Tajikistan in future, he added. He was of the view that through the transit of energy Pakistan will benefit greatly through the transit fee.
Tajik Minister conveyed the good wishes of his leadership and expressed their desire to convert the warm political relations into solid economic foundation. Pakistan’s exports to Tajikistan have risen from US$ 6.89 million in 2012-13 to US$ 7.42 million in 2014-15 while imports decreased from US$ 0.44 million to US$ 0.068 million during the same period.
Pakistan’s major exports to Tajikistan include sugar, dairy products, medical and pharmaceutical products, construction material including cement, rice, handicrafts and meat while major imports include machinery and its parts, chemical material and products, dyeing, tanning and colouring material. Tajikistan is the first country in Central Asia to run direct flights to Pakistan thus making bilateral trade and people-to people contact ever easier.
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