ISLAMABAD Pakistan and Uzbekistan can exploit existing potential together by paying focused attention through specific projects in order to increase trade and economic ties between the two countries. These remarks were made by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday while talking to an Uzbek delegation led by Minister for Agriculture and Water Management Ruziev Zafar Sharipovich here at the PMs House. Prime Minister emphasised the need to enhance the level of trade that commensurate with the close friendly and brotherly ties, adding that both Pakistan and Uzbekistan had large agricultural base and should share the experiences in this sector to enhance production of agriculture crops particularly cotton. Uzbekistan being the sixth largest producer and second largest exporter of cotton, besides, sharing knowledge and technology can supply quality cotton for Pakistans textile sector, he added. While underlining Pakistans energy requirements, the Prime Minister mentioned that Pakistan was prepared to buy surplus electricity from the neighbouring Central Asian countries. The two brotherly countries can also have close collaboration in the oil and gas sector for which possibilities have to be explored to the mutual benefit of the two states, he added. Highlighting the importance of Gwadar and Karachi seaports to facilitate trade between Central Asian Republics and ME, Africa and beyond, the PM proposed that a trilateral trade agreement between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan could be reached at in this regard. The PM mentioned that he had very useful interaction with the Afghan leadership, including President Karzai during his last visit to Afghanistan and expressed confidence that the talks at the highest level would prove fruitful in establishing better understanding between the two countries. The Prime Minister said that he was pleased to note that the Joint Ministerial Level dialogue between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was progressing well and hoped that both sides would be able to take strides in the right direction for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. The banking sector of the both countries needs to be encouraged to play their role in promoting trade and economic ties and said that the National Bank of Pakistan would be facilitated to open its branch in Tashkent. The Prime Minister said that he would be visiting Uzbekistan soon to interact with the Uzbek leadership to further promote the existing bilateral relations. Leader of the Uzbekistan delegation Ruziev Zafar Sharipovich said that Uzbekistan recognised Pakistans leading role in the region including its efforts to fight terrorism, which was a challenge not only for this region but the entire world. Pakistans role for peace in Afghanistan is equally appreciable, which will not only help stability in that country but will also help bring about economic development in the entire region particularly in the Central Asian Republics, he added. In the same context, the Uzbek Minister said that his country was developing connectivity, through both road and railways, with Afghanistan, which could be further extended to Pakistan as well. He assured that Uzbekistan would extend complete cooperation to Pakistan in the agricultural and energy sectors. Other members of the Uzbek delegation included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Anvar Salihbaev and Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan Oybek A. Usmanov.