Kyrgyzstan keen to develop strong trade ties with Pakistan: Envoy

 Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan, Erik Beishembiev has said that his country greatly valued its relations with Pakistan and was keen to develop strong trade and economic ties with it as both sides have great potential to diversify and expand bilateral trade in many areas.

Addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) here on Saturday, the Ambassador said that Kyrgyzstan provided Pakistan the shortest route to Central Asia as its goods could reach his country from Kashgar (China) within 3 days. He said that Pakistan could also enhance its exports to the EU under the GSP Plus regime through Kyrgyzstan. He said that Pakistani investors should explore JVs in Kyrgyzstan to promote exports to EU countries and Central Asia.

Erik Beishembiev said that Kyrgyzstan was interested in buying medical equipment from Pakistan as Pakistan has made good progress in this field after Covid-19 pandemic. He said that a business forum of Kyrgyzstan would be organized in November at Lahore that would provide a good opportunity to the private sectors of both countries to further strengthen their business linkages.

The Kyrgyz Ambassador identified mining, industry, agriculture, banking, textile production, pharmaceuticals, JVs for the processing and sale of agricultural products as the most promising areas for bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. He said that the inauguration of CASA 1000 was planned this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic has caused its delay. He said that Kyrgyzstan has weekly flights from Pakistan for its students and was considering launching regular flights between the two countries that would help in improving bilateral trade as well. 

Speaking at the occasion, President ICCI Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khansaid that Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan were enjoying friendly and cordial relations at political level that should be transformed into growing trade and economic relations between the two countries. He said that the current volume of bilateral trade between the two countries was quite nominal and emphasized That strong efforts from both sides were needed to improve it.

He stressed that both countries should focus on establishing direct linkages between their private sectors to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation. He said that Pakistan could export many products to Kyrgyzstan including pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, leather and sports products, but insufficient direct links between the two countries was a major hurdle in promoting two-way trade.  ICCI President said that Pakistani products were very competitive with affordable prices and emphasized that Kyrgyzstan embassy should share the information about its major imports so that Pakistani exporters could make efforts to export those products to his country and capture a better market share in Kyrgyzstan.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas said that ICCI was in the process of discussing some avenues either in Pakistan or Kyrgyzstan to bring the business community of both countries at one platform so that they could interact and explore prospects for further enhancing bilateral trade. He said that Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan should consider signing a free trade agreement and address all trade barriers between the two countries in order to boost trade and exports. He said that establishing direct air links between the two countries was very important to increase trade relations and people to people contacts.

Ms. Fatma Azim Senior Vice President and Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI said that organizing single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis and encouraging frequent exchange of trade delegations was the way forward for promoting business relations between the two countries.

Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Mian Shaukat Masud, M. Shakeel Munir, Ch. Ashraf Farzand, Khalid Chaudhry, Ms. Nasira Ali and others were also present at the occasion.

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