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ICCI for focusing on Tajikistan to promote exports with Central Asia

Islamabad, MAR 27 /DNA/ – Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), said that Tajikistan is a gateway for Pakistan in Central Asia and Pakistan can significantly improve its business relations with these countries by establishing close relations with Tajikistan. He urged that Pakistan’s embassy should cooperate with the private sector in promoting trade and exports with Tajikistan. He said this while talking to the Muhammad Saeed Sarwar, Ambassador-designate of Pakistan to Tajikistan during his visit to ICCI.

Ahsan Bakhtawari said that Tajikistan is an import-based country and Pakistan can export many products to it including textiles, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, cement, sports goods, and leather products, for which cooperation of the embassy is important. He said that there is a distance of only 16 kilometers between Tajikistan and Pakistan at Wakhan strip, and if this route is made usable, there can be a significant improvement in bilateral trade between the two countries. He said that ICCI would consider sending a delegation to Tajikistan to explore its market.

Speaking at the occasion, Mohammad Saeed Sarwar, Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to Tajikistan, said that the business community is playing an important role in promoting the country’s trade and exports, and assured that he would try to explore new opportunities for Pakistan’s export to Tajikistan. He said that a transit trade agreement has been signed between Pakistan and Tajikistan, and its implementation would improve trade relations between the two countries. He said that the government is focusing on exports and the Pakistani foreign missions would cooperate in this mission.

Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI said that the Chamber has established a facilitation desk for the Central Asian Countries to facilitate the business community in finding new opportunities for doing business with these countries. He said that the cooperation of the embassy will be helpful in making the desk more effective.

ICCI Group Leader Khalid Iqbal Malik said that the role of embassies in promoting Pakistan’s business interests in the international market is very important and hoped that Pakistan’s embassy in Tajikistan would play an active role in this regard. He said that embassies should be given annual targets for exports so that our exports can grow faster.

Zafar Bakhtavari, former President ICCI said that the direct air links of Pakistan with Central Asia, including Tajikistan, are very important for Pakistan, as they will strengthen people to people contacts, increase exports, and promote tourism. He said that the embassy of Pakistan in Tajikistan should play a direct flight between Istanbul, Islamabad and Dushanbe. He said that Pakistan provides easy access to Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries to the outside world through its Gwadar and Karachi ports, so the close relations will be a win-win outcome for Pakistan and Central Asian countries.

Rizwan Chheena, Sheikh Ejaz, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Shabbir, Khalid Chaudhry, Munizeh Majid and others also spoke at the occasion and shared useful ideas to improve trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

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