KARACHI: Head of Russian Trade Representative, Yury Kozlov has stressed the need for focusing on exploring ways and means to promote investment cooperation between Pakistan and Russia which would surely help strengthen trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the head of Russian trade representative added that Russia considers Pakistan an important country of the region as it has great economic potential and wants to increase bilateral trade and cooperation with Pakistan in diversified areas of the economy.
He asked KCCI to give proposals on strengthening bilateral trade, investment, economic cooperation and people to people contacts between the Russian Federation and Pakistan.
President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Vice President KCCI, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Chairman of Diplomatic Missions and Embassies’ Liaison Sub-Committee KCCI, Muhammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting.
Yury Kozlov assured to make all-out effort to remove bottlenecks in order to ensure smooth two-way trade between the two countries. Referring to Third Session of the Russia-Pakistan Inter-governmental Commission of Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation held last month, he said that Russia was very keen to enhance trade and business ties with Pakistan and was looking forward to opportunities available in Pakistan.
He informed that Russian companies have also expressed interest in construction of the North-South gas pipeline in Pakistan and construction of floating LNG terminal at Port Qasim in Karachi.
He pointed out that Russia had helped Pakistan promote various industrial sector like the steel mill at Karachi, Guddu thermal power station, Jamshoro power station and thermal power station at Muzaffargarh.
Both countries should extend technical and economic cooperation to each other in various sectors of the economy, he added.
Earlier, while welcoming the Head of Russian Trade Representative, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra stated that Pakistan and Russian must focus on exploring opportunities of enhancing the existing low trade volume between the two countries. He was of the view that cooperation between Pakistan and Russia would bring prosperity to the entire South Asian region.
Iftikhar Vohra also urged Russia to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis by participating in various energy-related projects. Keeping in view the Russian expertise in coal development, President KCCI invited Russian business community to invest in various projects pertaining to exploration and development of massive coal reserves in Thar which not only offer lucrative business opportunity to Russian investors but would also help Pakistan overcome energy crisis.
He also proposed to exchange trade information and business delegations, enhance business-to-business and people-to-people interaction along with participation of business communities in exhibitions taking in place in both countries.
Lack of proper banking channels between Pakistan and Russia was causing immense hardships for business communities of both countries who were keen to enhance trade with each other but were unable to do so due to non-availability of banks branches, Iftikhar Vohra noted, adding that opening of bank branches along with direct road and rail links between the two countries would surely help in improving the existing meager trade volume between the two countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan asked Head of Russian Trade Representative to help KCCI promote its annual exhibition, My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony scheduled to be organized at the Karachi Expo Center from April 10th to April 12th, 2015 which would provide a perfect platform to Russian businessmen and industrialists to explore Pakistani market, hold B2B meetings and promote Russian products and services in front of around one million visitors who are expected to attend this year’s exhibition.