It was also agreed during this visit that possibilities of starting negotiations on a Pakistan-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) would also be explored
KARACHI: Uzbekistan and Pakistan are working on to sign the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and in this regard Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood will visit Uzbekistan from January 31 to June 4.
This was informed by Advisor Razak Dawood a meeting with Aybek Arif Usmanov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan. Both the high-up discuss the agenda of Pakistan’s delegation to Uzbekistan.
The visit is a follow-up to the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Dr. Sardor Umurzakov, on 10th in September 2020. During that visit, a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Affairs was signed and it was decided that the first meeting of the Joint Working Group will be held in Tashkent at a mutually agreed time. It was also agreed during this visit that possibilities of starting negotiations on a Pakistan-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) would also be explored.
Apart from Mr. Dawood, the delegation will include Secretary, Ministry of Commerce along with senior officials from other related ministries and departments. During the visit, matters relating to trade, especially the Pakistan-Uzbekistan PTA will be discussed.
The two countries are striving to enhance trade and regional connectivity. Uzbekistan shares borders with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Improved connectivity and trade relations can open the doors for enhancing Pakistan’s exports to Uzbekistan and beyond which has a market of $ 90 billion.
Apart from trade, the establishment of railways’ links, banking relations, economic cooperation, maritime cooperation and investment will be discussed. The possibilities of cooperation in the fields of textile and pharmaceuticals will also be explored. It is also expected that a delegation from Afghanistan may also join Pakistan and Uzbekistan at Tashkent to culminate into a Trilateral Conference on trade and connectivity.
Pakistan has deep shared historic connections with Uzbekistan especially with regard to culture, art, crafts and traditions. Its cities like Samarkand and Bukhara have been the centres of Islamic civilization and learning. Diplomatic Relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan were established when it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Both countries are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organisation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.