ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Kazakhstan have great potential to enhance cooperation in many fields and if both countries facilitate their private sectors, the annual bilateral trade volume could be increased from current below US$ 25 million to US$ 250-500 million.

This was observed by Barlybay Sadykov, Ambassador Kazakhstan while exchanging views with Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry during his visit to Chamber House.

Sadykov said that many Pakistani products including fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, leather goods have great potential in Kazakhstan and Pakistani exporters should step up efforts to enhance exports of these products to Kazakh market.

He said Kazakhstan has adopted a Strategy 2050 to become 20th most advanced country in the world and it offered a good opportunity to big Pakistani companies to explore JVs and investment in various sectors of Kazakhstan economy. He said a railway link was built from Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan to Iran which could be extended to Pakistan to promote bilateral trade and people to people contacts.

He said that the leadership of both countries had agreed on a roadmap and promoting trade was key component of that roadmap. He said that Kazakh Embassy was planning to organize a conference in Pakistan by the end of October or November to highlight the business and investment potential in Kazakhstan and ICCI should join hands with his Embassy in organizing that event. He said that ICCI should identify the trade barriers with Kazakhstan and share with his Embassy so that measures could be taken to address them. He assured that he would work closely with ICCI for promoting bilateral trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Kazakhstan was rich in natural resources including oil, gas, gold and coal and Pakistan would like to strengthen its cooperation with it to achieve win-win results. He said that both countries should focus on establishing air, road and railway links in order to boost two-way trade. He said regular exchange of trade delegations and holding single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis was necessary to identify new areas of mutual cooperation.

Raffat Farid Senior Vice President ICCI, Sheikh Amir Waheed, M Shakeel Munir and Muhammad Hussain were also present at the occasion. Farid said that Chamber would like to work with Kazakh Embassy for promoting B2B linkages between the private sectors of both countries in order to tap all untapped area of bilateral cooperation.