Pakistan to be connected with Russia through land route via Central Asian States: Report

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Pakistan to be connected with Russia through land route via Central Asian States: Report

FAISALABAD - Uzbekistan Ambassador Mr. Furqat A. Siddiqov has said that Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan were considering a joint proposal to open land route through Afghanistan by offering logistic, trade and transit facilities to the exporters of this region. He further said that road distance between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was only 700 miles through which it could also have access to the other landlocked Central Asian states in addition to making exports to the European Union countries.

He said that efforts in this connection were underway which would yield positive results very soon.

He said on that direct and basic hurdles had been removed to promote bilateral trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan Steps are underway to promote banking and air services in addition to ensuring safe transit of trade consignments through Afghanistan. Addressing the members of the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, he said that Uzbekistan was an historic centre of Islamic heritage and culture. "I have come here from the land of 'Imam Bokhari' with a message of peace and love for Pakistani brethren," he said. Regarding trade, he said that it had recorded a three times growth as compared to last year. He said that Uzbekistan Air was managing weekly flight between Lahore and Tashkent while steps were being taken to start direct flights between Karachi and Tashkent. About banking channels, he said that a branch of National Bank of Pakistan was already operating in Tashkent while a Swiss bank was also expected to establish its branch to provide international banking facilities. To a question, he said that Uzbek government was also contemplating to start Islamic banking and in this connection steps were underway. He further said that Uzbekistan was importing sugar, pharmaceutical and potato from Pakistan while it could export agriculture machinery to Pakistan. The Uzbek Ambassador said that Pakistan and Uzbekistan were cotton producing countries and his objective to visit Faisalabad was to encourage cooperation in textile sector. He said that many Pakistani companies were already doing business with Uzbekistan while there were huge opportunities to launch joint ventures in this specific field.

In this connection, Uzbekistan had taken bold decisions by establishing Cotton technical centres which could equally benefit both the countries. He also mentioned the facilities extended to the Pakistani investors and told that credit facility would also be provided to the foreign investors. Regarding trade through road, he said that Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan were considering a joint proposal to open land route through Afghanistan by offering logistic, trade and transit facilities to the exporters of this region. He further said that road distance between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was only 700 miles through which it could also have access to the other landlocked Central Asian states in addition to making exports to the European Union countries.

He said that efforts in this connection were underway which would yield positive results very soon.