LAHORE: Being an emerging economic power, Pakistan can be most important and beneficial partner of Russia in South Asia.
This was stated by the LCCI President Abdul Basit while talking to two-member Russian delegation here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Members of the delegation Igor Kolesov and Elena M. KHOLOD had a detailed discussion with the LCCI chief on the trade & economic issues.
Abdul Basit said that Russian interest in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a clear evidence of the fact that CPEC is not only a game changer but it is a world order changer.
He invited the Russian businessmen to explore huge untapped Pakistani market. Both the countries should take sector specific measures to enhance the mutual trade that does not reflect the existing potential, the LCCI President said and expressed hope that both Pakistan and Russian businessmen would enter into joint ventures to benefit each other in their respective businesses and would take level of bilateral trade to new heights with a little sector specific effort. He said that Pakistan has a lot to offer to Pakistani business community while Pakistani businessmen could learn a lot from Russians for the technological upgradation of their industrial units.
Abdul Basit said that Pakistanis are grateful to Russian Federation for helping Pakistan establish a mega steel mill at Karachi, which has played a crucial role in the development of the country. Today, this steel mill is the biggest source of steel products catering to the demand of the country and value addition for related products. But since then no major initiative has been taken by Russian Federation.
The LCCI President said that both the countries need to warm up their relations for mutual benefit of people and to play an overwhelming role in international arena on a sustainable basis.
He said that Pakistan’s share in total foreign trade of Russia is very insignificant while trade balance is also in the favor of Russia. He said that though bilateral trade between the two countries is increasing gradually but it was not satisfactory.
He said that Russian Federation is a market of great importance for Pakistan with massive population together with neighboring countries. He said that Pakistan can export textile, garments, rice, leather, sports goods, surgical equipments and pharmaceutical to the Russian Market while Russia can enhance export of power equipment, steel, urea, chemicals etc to Pakistan.
He said that oil and gas sector in Pakistan offers great opportunities to Russia which has the requisite experience and technology in this field. He said that Russia could evaluate the possibilities of collaboration with Pakistan for mining of marble and granite as well.
He said the private sector of Pakistan can definitely take the lead in exporting various types of consumer goods to Russia and in return Pakistan can supply all types of textile goods, leather & leather products, surgical goods, sports goods, agro-based products & food items, fresh fruits & vegetables, fish & fish preparations, carpets & rugs, pharmaceutical products etc. He said that Russia can also help in introducing Pakistani products in the areas of its influence.
He said that the profiles of Pakistani and Russian economies suggest brighter chances for joint ventures in sectors like food processing, oil, gas & mineral exploration, energy, engineering (heavy & light), transport equipments, automobiles, tractors, harvesters, machine tools, cement, fertilizers, industrial chemicals, plastic & rubber products, home appliances etc. where Russian are the advance stage of development.
Members of Russian delegation agreed to make joint efforts to enhance the volume of two-way trade and to cement the economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.