ISLAMABAD: (APP) The Ukrainian Ambassador , Volodymyr Lakomov has said that the task for Pakistan and Ukraine is to create more favorable conditions for building up mutually beneficial business cooperation for the time being.
In an interview with APP here on Wednesday, he said, primarily, it requires intensification of political contacts, formation of a proper legal base for cooperation in the spheres of trade, investments, finance, transport, launching productive inter-regional and cross-industry cooperation.
"As Ukrainian Ambassador in Pakistan, I am very pleased to admit that Pakistan is among our good friends."Both sides have witnessed a significant widening of space for progress within the top-level political dialogue, he added.
Volodymyr Lakomov announced that the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Pakistan would be celebrated on March 16. Ukrainian-Pakistani relations began long before official recognition by Pakistan of Ukraine's independence and establishing diplomatic relations, he added.
He said, "Our friendly relations have developed steadily. The Embassy of Pakistan in Ukraine began its activities from October, 1997 in Kyiv. The Embassy of Ukraine in Pakistan functions from January, 1998 in Islamabad."
On the current stage of development of the Ukrainian-Pakistani relations, he said, there is an urgent need to apply the positive experience of bilateral cooperation in military-technical sphere to the civil aspects of our collaboration.
The Ambassador said,"Our two countries take interest in each other's market and stress their readiness to exploit huge unused potential for economic cooperation."
He said that there is a growing economic interaction between the business communities of the two countries. The volume of bilateral trade in the year 2014 reached its historical maximum of half billion US dollars. In 2016 the volume of trade between Ukraine and Pakistan amounted to over 162 million US dollars.
Ukrainian exports are dominated by grains and oilseeds, steel products, machinery and dairy products. Pakistani exports to Ukraine mainly consist of textile products, citrus fruits, rice, plastic and polymer materials, he added.
He said that in the past 25 years, the military-technical collaboration remains one of the main pillars of the Ukrainian-Pakistani relations. The first important contracts between Pakistan and independent Ukraine were concluded in a military-technical sphere in 1996. One of them is the well-known multimillion-dollar tank contract which provided Pakistan with modern tanks, and Ukrainian enterprises with perspective long-term orders.
The Ambassador further added that on November, 2016 during the visit of the Ukrainian delegation in Karachi for participation at the International Defence Exhibition “Ideas-2016”, the contracts worth over $600 million have been signed.
Pakistani military-industrial complex has the intention to continue collaboration with Ukraine in development of technologies and production of military goods. In particular, he said in the construction and service of the main battle tank of "Al'-Khalid", which is supplied to the Pakistani army and exported in other Muslim countries.
It was recently confirmed by signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between defense industries of Ukraine and Pakistan, which took place within the framework of the International Defence Exhibition ''Idex-2017'' in Abu-Dabi, he said.
He said that during the meeting between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign
Affairs Sartaj Aziz held last year in China, the two sides had agreed to intensify the political and diplomatic dialogue between the two states.
Besides, within the framework of existing agreements, the political consultations at the level of deputies of ministers for foreign affairs are taking place on regular basis. The last round of those consultations was held on 6th� June, 2016 in Kyiv. The next round will take place during this year in Islamabad, he added.