ISLAMABAD

Pakistan and Belarus have decided to initiate joint ventures in textiles, pharmaceuticals and light industry to share the technological expertise and scientific advantage of one country with the other.

Modalities for these joint ventures were discussed in the meeting of First Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission. These joint ventures will open new avenues for greater cooperation in much diverse fields through partnerships of private and public sectors. Both sides expressed their resolve to undertake concrete measures to enhance the volume of trade as the current trade figures are not reflective of its true potential.

Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir Khan and Minister for Industry of Belarus, Vitaly M. Vovk reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between the two countries including trade, economy and commerce. They expressed satisfaction at the current trajectory of bilateral relations and reiterated their desire to fortify these relations in diverse areas of cooperation.

Dastgir also emphasized the need to establish economically feasible air and sea routes for swift delivery of cargo. As Belarus is a land-locked country, therefore the establishment of air-link is necessary for the export of perishable items which has great demand in Belarus. Chairman Board of Investment, Miftah Ismail who is accompanying the Minister for Commerce, apprised the prospective Belarusian investors about the emerging investment opportunities that Pakistan provides.

Pakistan exported $15.23 million worth of items to Belarus in 2014, 36% of which was rice, 9.27% light pure woven cotton, 10.03% styrene polymers, 7.43% edible preparations, 4.48% leather apparel and 4% citrus. Pakistan’s imports from Belarus stood at $42.65 million which mainly consisted of tractors (62.04%), artificial filament yarn (13.01%) and rubber tires (8.06%). Pakistan intends to correct this trade balance in its favor by exporting more value added items to Belarus. Tariff rationalization for this purpose was also sought during the bilateral meetings and JEC.