Kazakhstan and Pakistan ties will now reflect in expansion of bilateral trade



LAHORE: Mr. MaratKarabayev, Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has expressed the hope that the historical relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan will now reflect in expansion of bilateral trade and commercial ties with enhanced frequent interaction between the business communities of both the countries.
He was addressing a zoom meeting with All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman APTMA Mr. Abdul Rahim Nasir. Chairman Northern Zone Mr. Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Mr. Kamran Arshad, Secretary General Mohammad Raza Baqir and leading APTMA members from Sothern and Northern zones attended the first ever zoom meeting between APTMA and the Government of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan Minister reiterated the commitment of fostering trade and economic relations, saying that there was tremendous scope for uplifting of economic cooperation between both the countries. He explained in detail the incentives and benefits being extended by the Government of Kazakhstan to foreign investors and the exemption from taxes for setting up of industries in Special Economic Zones.
The Minister added that the cheap recycled textile fibers and inexpensive electricity @ US¢3/KW offer bonanza to the foreign investors. He discussed in detail about the need for greater people to people contact and potential for economic cooperation. He discussed various ways and means to strengthen the centuries old relations between the two nations by exploring all available avenues.
The Minister said that the whole region is ready to get benefit of peace and stability in Afghanistan and stressed the need to multiply the current bilateral trade volume of $ 45 million by all means.
The Minister invited Pakistan business delegation to Kazakhstan and offered to send a similar business delegation from Kazakhstan to Pakistan for adopting practical measures for expanding of economic and trade ties.
Speaking on the occasion, Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman APTMA, highlighted the strengths and potential of textile industry of Pakistan. He informed that textile sector in Pakistan in on an upward trajectory with lofty export target of $ 21 Billion for the current year as against actual export of $ 15 Billion during the last year, new investment of $ 5 Billion in textile sector, addition of 100 new plants and creating 500,000 extra jobs.
Rahim pointed out issues adversely affecting bilateral trade including logistic issues, obtaining and using Letters of Credit (LC) in trade with Kazakhstan, language barriers in labeling the goods in Kazakh or Russian language, difficulties in land rout due to security situation in Afghanistan and delay in signing of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
With a view to foster economic relations between Pakistan and Kazakhstan, Chairman APTMA proposed to sign MOU between APTMA and Kazakhstan Government which would positively contribute to pave way for consolidation of economic ties. Similarly, he said, frequent exchange of trade delegations, mutual capacity building in textile sectors, establishment of joint ventures, early signing of FTA, strengthening of banking channels and utilization of OIC, ECO and Shangai Trade Cooperation platforms will help in uplifting the trade statistics.
He urged the need of strengthening of banking channels between Pakistan & Kazakhstan, an early signing of PTA, utilization of OIC, ECO, and SCO platforms for expansion of bilateral trade, joint investment in the textile industry and establishment of joint ventures, frequent exchange of trade delegations, synergies in bilateral trade expansion, mutual capacity building in textile sectors, and bilateral exchange of business delegations to identify trade and investment options as a way forward to solidify trade and investment relations between Pakistan and Kazakhstan. He hoped that the business community of both the countries would benefit from TIR to cut cargo costs substantially.
Chairman APTMA Northern Zone participating in the discussion and appreciated the Kazakhstan Government for offering various options for boosting bilateral trade and investment and hoped that frequent exchange of business delegations would definitely results in upsurging of bilateral trade.