LAHORE: Currently Pakistan and Russian trade in term of dollars is encouraging and it will be further enhanced once the chairman of Trade and Economic Commission is appointed as agreed between prime ministers of both countries.
These views were expressed by the Russian ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Yuievich Dedov while to the LCCI President Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir, Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigal and executive committee members at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said that Pakistan and Russia were busy in elections and in the upcoming years there are very bright chances of enhancing trade.
Replying to a question by Customs Today, the Russian ambassador said that if the direct banking channels are set up, the trade volume can be further enhanced.
Trade representative Yury M Kozlov said that two years before it was decided between Russian Central Bank and the National bank of Pakistan (NBP) that one NBP branch will be set up in Russia but the decision was never materialized.
While conducting mutual trade, both the countries have to face huge losses in terms of money when the payments are made through other banks via Dubai, etc. In reply to businessmen and traders questions, he also welcomed the idea of barter system between the two countries.
The LCCI President Almas Hyder said that among the overall import and export destinations of Pakistan, Russia comes at 31st and 32nd places respectively. It is encouraging to see that our bilateral trade relations are consistently improving. From the last three years, the overall trade volume had gone up from dollar 331 million to dollar 442 million. However, those figures hardly reflect the actual potential of two economies. Pakistan’s exports to Russia were around dollar 206 million in 2013 which are following downward trend since then. Last year, our exports to Russia came down to dollar 131 million which need to be enhanced to ultimately make Pakistan have favourable balance of trade.
He said that Pakistan is exporting citrus fruit, articles of apparel, rice, woven fabric, hosiery items, sports goods, and home textiles etc. to Russia. The major imports from Russia to Pakistan are dried vegetables, newsprint, coal, synthetic rubber and ferrous waste and scrap of iron or steel etc.
The LCCI President said that Russia has earned a distinctive status in the field of modern technologies and Pakistan can benefit by way of establishing closer ties with Russia. You will agree with me that frequent exchange of delegations in other fields of life is the need of the hour.
He hoped that once China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project gets completed, it will also give boost to Pak-Russian trade. It is needless to mention that your guidance and personal interest will be quite handy in achieving the desired results.