Pakistan needs to grab maximum share in the Russian market through exports, now that the west is shunning Russia, a window of opportunity has opened for Pakistan. Russia is looking for new trade partners and Pakistan can fill this void. It is heartening that ministry of commerce is to prepare for the World Food Exhibition 2015 in Moscow. Seminars in Lahore were arranged highlighting export opportunities to prospective businessmen and traders.

Quality standards should be considered in advance, to ensure the success of the export plan. Also exports enhancement should not come at the cost of shortage for domestic consumers. Ishaq Dar the finance minister has urged senior officials of commerce ministry, ministry of Food Security and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to urgently come up with a plan for exporting agricultural products to Russia, aiming to enhance overall exports volume of the country and lessen current account deficit.

He also said that Russia has been importing food items worth $35 billion from around the world, particularly European countries and the ban on imports is creating a space of $16 billion which should be captured. Pakistan is strategically positioned to take advantage of this. This may also strengthen our long term ties and bring mutual benefit to both countries.

AMJAD KHAN,

Lahore, December 17.