karachi - With the aim of opening traditional and new ways of trade, Pakistan sees horticulture exports to Central Asia via Silk Route (Shahra-e-Resham).

 Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with International Association of Silk Route Trade (IASRT) of Kyrgyzstan to strengthen the bilateral trade and explore new markets for horticulture sector in the region. The MoC was signed after a three days long international conference held recently in Islamabad. The conference was attended by dignitaries, businessmen and exporters from seven countries of South and Central Asia. The MoC, signed by Abdul Malik Chairman PFVA and head of IASRT, says that the two association would play their role for exploring trade opportunities in region specially for the horticultural products which would ultimately benefit millions of people from farms to factories.  Elaborating the importance of the agreement, Waheed Ahmed, Spokesman and former Chairman of PFVA said that Pakistan could make additional revenue of over $400 million through exporting fruits/ vegetable and value added pulp of mango and kinnow juice. According to him, the Central Asian states are not only a lucrative market for, mango, kinnow, poatato, onion, value added products of fruits, palm oil, meat, rice and all Halal products but the route to this region can also lead Pakistani products to Russia and European markets.

He said that the visiting importers, traders of the sector from CIS countries have shown keen interest in Pakistan fruits, vegetables, technology and expertise in processing food.

 They were also interested in getting help from Pakistan in fruit processing and packaging sector.

Waheed said that through the mutual understanding made during the international conference, it has been agreed that the two associations would share information data of horticultural exports and also seek opportunities and environment of joint investment in the sector.

The visit of delegations in both sides of borders would further strengthen trade ties.

A delegation from Central Asian states would be invited to Pakistan soon, he claimed.