Pak-Russia agree to strengthen bilateral trade relations

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Pak-Russia agree to strengthen bilateral trade relations

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Commerce and Textile, Pervaiz Malik, who is currently on a visit to Moscow held a meeting with Russian Minister for Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting under Shanghai Coordination Organization (SCO), and expressed interest in further strengthening cooperation in all fields of mutual interest including trade, energy, defence, and culture.

The two Ministers expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory of  bilateral  relations and expressed interest  in further strengthening cooperation in  all  fields  of  mutual  interest  including  trade,  energy,  defense  and culture, says a statement received here from Moscow on Thursday.

They also agreed on making joint efforts to enhance trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

On the occasion Pervaiz Malik extended  invitation  to Denis Manturov for a visit  to Pakistan at  his  earliest  convenience to which Mr Denis responded positively and accepted the invitation.

Earlier, the Commerce Minister attend the 16th Meeting of Ministers of SCO member states responsible for foreign economic and foreign trade activity in Moscow from November 13 to 16.

He was accompanied by MNA Shaista Malik and two officials of the Ministry of Commerce.

The meeting was attended by Ministers of Commerce and Trade of the eight members of the SCO as well as Observers.

The Ministers deliberated on the topic of “Current situation and prospects for further development of multilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation in the region of SCO”.

In his Statement made at the meeting, the Minister highlighted that Pakistan will work proactively with fellow SCO-member states to realize the goals and objectives of this forum in keeping with the SCO Charter and the ‘Shanghai Spirit’ of mutual trust, and shared development.

He said his country looked forward to advancing the overarching goals of SCO to strengthen political, economic and trade relations between the member states and promoting regional peace, security and stability.

"Pakistan is a natural SCO partner, ideally located to provide links for regional economic integration within and between SCO member states," he said adding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is in step with SCO’s efforts to create trans-continental overland connectivity resulting in stronger regional economic integration.

Pakistan is partnering in a number of key regional energy and infrastructure initiatives including Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and CASA-1000.

He said Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have agreed to initiate a bus service that would not only enhance trade but also be an important tool to promote people-to-people contacts among the four countries.

Pervaiz Malik said in  line  with  the government's vision  of  shared  prosperity through  connectivity,  Pakistan  has  undertaken  several  initiatives which  include  rebooting  of  Quadrilateral Traffic  in Transit  Agreement (QTTA )  among  China,  Kyrgyz  Republic,  Kazakhstan  and Pakistan,  which  is  also  being  joined  by  Tajikistan.

He said the  QTTA  serves as  a channel  to  regional  connectivity  and  would  become  even  more effective  with Pakistan's  membership of  SCO.

SCO , Pakistan’s  strategic  aim  is  to  utilize  its  unique  geopolitical  position and  economic  capital  to  build  trade,  energy  and  communications corridors  linking  South  Asia,  West  Asia, Central  Asia and China.

The  Government  of  Pakistan, he said  is  working  on  domestic  reforms  that would  help  in  promoting  regional  trade  and  connectivity.

The initiatives  include  establishment  of  the  National  Single  Window  to expedite  trade  clearance,  aggressive  implementation  of  Trade Facilitation  Agreement  and  tariff  rationalization  to  improve  further our  competitiveness  and r educe the cost  of  doing  business, he added.

The  Minister  expressed  support  for  a  regional Free Trade Agreement under SCO with  a  view to  opening up partnership  opportunities  for  the  whole  region.

He  underscored  that  a  trade  led  growth  in  the  region  would  play  a  key  role  in bringing  economic prosperity, employment  and sustainable development.