Kyrgyzstan keen to begin transit trade through Pakistan | The Express Tribune


LAHORE:

Kyrgyzstan is interested in transit trade through Pakistan and the country wants to use the seaports of Karachi, said Kyrgyzstan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruslan Kazakbaev.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday, he invited Pakistani investors to pour money in the tourism and energy sectors of Kyrgyzstan.

“Kyrgyzstan is famous for its tourism sector and 90% of its area is mountainous,” he said.  “Investors from Islamabad should come forward and invest in hotels and resorts in Kyrgyzstan.”

The energy sector of Kyrgyzstan possessed immense potential as well and Pakistani businessmen should explore small hydel power projects in the country. 

He disclosed that his meetings with president, prime minister and foreign minister of Pakistan were positive and hoped that they would further strengthen the relations between the two countries.

Talking about Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan mutual relations, LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan said that both countries had deep cultural, religious and diplomatic relations.

“In contrast to all these strong bonds and mutual relations, both countries are yet to become sound trading partners,” he voiced concern. “Very few items are being traded between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan for the past many years.”

Presenting the State Bank of Pakistan’s statistics, he said exports from Pakistan to Kyrgyzstan were just $2 million in 2020-21 imports stood nearly nil from Kyrgyzstan.

The main reasons of such a low level of trade volume between two countries included limited knowledge about each other’s markets and absence of sound banking channels.

Chan said that there was huge potential for Pakistan to increase its exports to Kyrgyzstan in diverse sectors including value added textiles, sports goods, surgical instruments and automotive parts.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2022.

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