Pakistan agrees to increase trade and connectivity with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan

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The flags of Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Pakistan has agreed with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan on the need to increase mutual trade and comprehensively upgrade bilateral cooperation in all fields.

This understanding was reached with the Kyrgyz side when Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a cordial meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart Chingiz Aidarbekov on the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Council’s sidelines of Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

Qureshi referred to the deep cultural and historical ties between the two countries and thanked the Kyrgyz side for its support for Pakistan’s membership for the SCO.

Both sides reviewed bilateral ties and examined the prospects of cooperation in diverse areas, including economic, political, regional connectivity, and people’s contacts.

The two foreign ministers concurred that it is vital to enhance land and air connectivity. Issues regarding the welfare of Pakistani students and expatriate communities were also discussed. Both sides expressed satisfaction at their ongoing collaboration at the regional and international fora.

Qureshi briefed his Kyrgyz counterpart of the steps being taken by the Pakistani government to save lives and secure livelihoods during the coronavirus. He told his Kyrgyz counterpart about the evolving peace and security situation in the region.

He also informed the Kyrgyz side on Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan, Indo-Pak relations, and human rights violations in the Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IoJK).

The two foreign ministers concurred to remain in close contact to strengthen further joint efforts for enhanced cooperation in common interest spheres.

The flags of Pakistan and Tajikistan

Likewise, Shah Mahmood Qureshi also met with his Tajik counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin in Moscow on Wednesday.

Both the dignitaries discussed peace efforts in Afghanistan.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi informed his Tajik counterpart on human rights violations by Indian occupying forces in IoJK.

The two foreign ministers also discussed the coronavirus and the effective measures taken to control this pandemic.

Likewise, on Thursday, Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish ‘Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Affairs.’

The flags of Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Investments & Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov had called on Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood in Islamabad.

Both sides agreed to start negotiations for a bilateral Early Harvest Plan, proceeding to Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to provide increased market access to each other’s products.

It was also agreed to have Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) to harmonize standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. It was further decided to arrange a business forum for the private sector of both countries.

During the discussions, Uzbekistan and Pakistan resolved to optimally utilize trade and investment opportunities and work swiftly to achieve the shared goal of strengthening political and commercial ties.

Separately, the nine-member Uzbek delegation, comprising the first deputy foreign affairs and deputy ministers of investment & foreign trade, transport, and senior officials of the ministry of investments & foreign exchange, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The delegation also held meetings with the ministers for industries & production and maritime affairs to implement existing investment opportunities in textile, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and tourism.

Both sides endeavored to work towards improved connectivity through land borders and shipping. Uzbekistan is particularly interested in using seaports of Pakistan for shipment of imports and exports.

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