Russia also offered its assistance to expand the production capacity of the Pakistan Steel Mills
KARACHI: Some 200 Russian companies are keen to explore opportunities in Pakistan, a top Russian leader said during a special meeting at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday.
Trade Representative of Russia, Yury Kozlov addressing the same meeting revealed that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia improved to $660 million during 10 months of 2018 which is expected to reach around $750-800m by year end.
Russia has also offered its assistance to expand the production capacity of the Pakistan Steel Mills.
Pakistan and Russia are currently cooperating in numerous projects including the construction of north and south gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore besides working on a 600MW project at Jamshoro Power Plant, he added.
He added that bilateral trade between the neighbours is huge potential but it has not grown at the desired pace due to a lack of direct banking channels.
In this regard, he said that the State Bank of Pakistan and the Central Bank of Russian Federation signed an MoU in January, but the progress was too slow as not much has happened since then; therefore, the central banks of both countries will have to act more energetically.
Deputy Trade Representative of Russia Ruslan Aliev, KCCI President Junaid Esmail Makda, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid, KCCI’s sub-committee Chairman for Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Shamoon Zaki and Managing Committee members also attended the meeting.
While handing over CDs carrying presentations of 200 Russian companies and details of the exhibitions scheduled to be staged in Russia throughout the year, the Russian delegate said that these companies are keen to explore opportunities in Pakistan whereas the business and industrial community of the Chamber should look into the possibility of participating in numerous trade exhibitions in Russia.
He further asked the KCCI to send a trade delegation to Russia with a view to enhance the existing trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
Earlier President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, in his remarks, expressed concerns over nominal trade volume between the two countries which stood at around $600m in 2017 as Pakistan exported goods worth $280.69m while the imports increased to $310.94m during the said period.