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Uzbekistan woos Pakistan investors to form JVs.

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan and Uzbekistan should focus on exploiting their geographical proximity for promoting bilateral trade and economic relations to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome for their economies, said Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies of Uzbekistan Director Vladimir Norov.

Visiting the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) along with Uzbekistan Ambassador Furqat A Sidikov, Norov said Uzbekistan had bilateral trade worth $520 million with Afghanistan and their target was to take it to $1 billion.

However, with Pakistan its trade was just around $24 million, though both the countries had great potential to promote trade in many areas.

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He urged Pakistan and Uzbekistan to accord high priority to improving the two-way trade that would bring many benefits to the people of the two nations.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan could cooperate in many fields including textile, agriculture, energy, automobile, pharmaceutical, chemical and others, he added.

"Uzbekistan has established seven free economic zones with attractive incentives for foreign investors and has envisaged 650 projects involving an investment of $40 billion," he pointed out. The director emphasised that Pakistani investors should explore joint ventures and investment opportunities in Uzbekistan.

Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said Pakistan accorded great importance to its close relations with Uzbekistan and wanted to strengthen the ties in many fields.

He said enhanced mutual cooperation was highly beneficial for both the countries as Uzbekistan could provide Pakistan easy access to Central Asian, European and Russian markets. On the other hand, Pakistan could provide Uzbekistan with better access to South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other markets.

He stressed that both countries should develop strong linkages between their private sectors which was the best approach to exploit all untapped areas of mutual collaboration.

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"Both countries could also promote joint ventures to manufacture various vehicles and industrial goods and can also cooperate in agriculture, energy and other fields."

The ICCI president called for making strong efforts for implementing the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement that would dismantle trade barriers and bring huge benefits to all parties.

He suggested that Uzbekistan should explore joint ventures and investment avenues in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 22, 2017
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