Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furqat A. Sidiqov said that his country was keen to enhance trade relations with Pakistan as both countries have great potential to cooperate with each other in many areas including energy, agriculture, construction, mineral resources and others.
He said this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry that called on him led by President Sheikh Amir Waheed.
Furqat A. Sidiqov said that Uzbekistan was a gateway for Pakistan to get access to over 300 million market of Central Asia. He said Uzbekistan was very much interested to have Pakistan’s pharmaceutical products that were quite competitive in terms of price and quality. He said Uzbekistan has free trade agreements with CIS countries and Pakistani pharma industrialists should make direct investment or enter into joint ventures in Uzbekistan to penetrate Central Asian market.
He identified agriculture, food processing, textiles, automobile, construction & building material, chemicals, oil & gas, mining, metallurgy, electrical & electronics and education as other potential areas of mutual cooperation between both countries.
He said private sectors of both countries should form a joint business council that would help in promoting bilateral trade. He said that ICCI should form a sector-specific delegation for Uzbekistan and his Embassy would extend all possible cooperation to make its visit successful.
Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Uzbekistan was an energy rich country and it should cooperate with Pakistan in overcoming its energy problem. He said Pakistan could export many products to Uzbekistan including fruits & vegetables, leather goods, meat and meat products, fertilizers and stressed that both countries should encourage frequent exchange of trade missions to explore all untapped areas of mutual collaboration.
He said Uzbekistan was planning to set up factories of cable manufacturing and ice cream which was encouraging. He said that Pakistan was a huge consumer market while many sectors of its economy were opened for foreign investment and stressed that more Uzbek investors should visit Pakistan to explore opportunities of investment and joint ventures.
Muhammad Naveed, Senior Vice President ICCI said that tourism and culture also offered good prospects for mutual cooperation and both countries should focus on promoting connectivity between their private sectors to identify new avenues of promoting bilateral trade and economic relations. M. Shakeel Munir, Muhammad Faheem, Bilal Adil, Sheraz Siddiqui, Amir Baloch, Fahad Bin Saeed, Mian Zahid, Arsalan Malik and Fiaz ur Rehman were in the delegation.