Karachi, November 03, 2016 (PPI-OT): Head of Russian Trade Representative, Yury M. Kozlov has said that the cooperation between Pakistan and Russia has been developing to a satisfactory level but still lot more needs to be done and efforts must be made to enhance the existing trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
Exchanging views during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yury Kozlov, who was accompanied by Alexy Kudrayavtsev and Vladimir Teterin, Consultants of Trade Commission of Russia in Karachi at the meeting, informed that under a wide scope of plan to enhance Russian investment in Pakistan in various sectors including bio-engineering, agriculture and energy sectors, around 150 Russian companies are looking exploring opportunities of direct investment in Pakistan. “Russian companies are sincerely interested in enhancing their cooperation with Pakistan”, he added.
President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Younus Soomro, Chairman of Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Sub-Committee Altaf A. Ghaffar, Former SVP Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting.
Agreeing to Karachi Chamber’s concerns over lack of direct banking channel hindering trade between the two countries, Yury Kozlov said that the absence of direct banking channel was a problem which has to be addressed by the two sides.
Referring to construction of $2 billion gas pipeline project from Karachi to Lahore by Russia, he was fairly optimistic that it will play an important role in attracting Russian companies to invest in other projects.
Seeking Karachi Chamber’s proposals on how to bring the business communities of the two countries more close to each other, he said that they will surely consider Karachi Chamber’s proposals pertaining to enhancing trade and bringing the business communities more close to each other.
Earlier, President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, in his remarks of welcome, said that Karachi, which is the economic hub of Pakistan, offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for investment and joint ventures to Russian Investors.
He said that Karachi Chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and explore new bilateral trade prospects with Russia as Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Russia would surely help in dealing with numerous economic challenges being faced by the country and prove to be very beneficial for both the countries.
He was of the opinion that Pakistan and Russian have experienced many ups and downs in their bilateral relations; however the current mutual cooperation has resulted in strengthened economic ties which is marked by enhanced government level talks between the two countries.
He said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia was expanding but at a relatively slow pace and the present trade volume does not reflect true trade potential between the two countries. “During 2015-16, Pakistan exported goods worth $151 million whereas the imports from Russia stood at $148 million. Thus, the trade surplus of $4 million in FY16 is in favor of Pakistan”, he added.
Touching upon the potential to enhance trade, Shamim Firpo opined that Pakistan can also seek Russian assistance in the field of communication, irrigation, atomic energy, transport and infrastructure while Pakistani food exporters can capitalize on the ban imposed by the Russian government on agricultural imports from European countries, in order to enhance their exports to Russia.
He also invited Russian companies to participate in 14th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony exhibition scheduled to be organized in the month of April next year which was being organized every year since 2004 and was being attended by around 1 million visitors each year.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar expressed deep concerns over the extended time required by the Russian Embassy to issue visas which can take up to 30 days and even more. He was of the opinion that in order to improve trade ties and bring business communities more close to each other, the Russian Embassy must reduce visa processing time to business community on priority basis which, if done, would surely yield positive results.
For more information, contact:
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Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
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