Alexey Y Dedov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation while addressing a function organized by Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), which was also attended by leading industrialists, traders and exporters of the city said that the trade relations between Pakistan and Russia are growing satisfactorily at the government level. However, the private sector of two countries need to come forward to play role in giving a quantum jump to the bilateral trade.
He said that Russia started a number of energy projects in Pakistan while an agreement was also signed to lay gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore and now the balance of trade is in favor of Russia. However, the trade volume is still low and therefore the business communities of the two countries should take necessary measures to exploit the available potential.
A ministerial level meeting will also be held in Islamabad later this year (Nov or Dec) to remove the bottlenecks hampering bilateral trade. Many Russian companies are already working in Pakistan while more are willing to invest in Pakistan as the situation in this country was improving considerably.
Quoting the hurdles in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia, Alexey Y Dedov said that one of the major causes was unrest in Afghanistan. Russia could import more commodities from Pakistan provided the roads passing through Afghanistan are made safe and secure.
Regarding possibilities of MoUs, Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA) and Free Trade Agreements (FTA), negotiations at the official level are required. However, as regards cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries, it needs reliable and credible banking system. The government of Pakistan was ready to open a branch of National Bank of Pakistan in Moscow which will have salutary impact on the promotion of bilateral trade between the two countries.
Regarding sanctions clamped on Turkey by Russia, Alexey Y Dedov said that it provides a unique opportunity to Pakistani exporters to fill up this gap by making arrangements with their Russian counterparts particularly for the export of textile products.
There are vast prospects of expansion of bilateral trade including joint ventures in textiles.
The Russian ambassador also assured to provide a list of Turkish companies which have been banned for exports to Russia. He also assured cooperation for the exchange of trade delegations and organization of exhibitions in both countries.
Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz , President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) that has more than 5,000 members within the fold of this chamber that includes textile said that the textile sector is the mainstary of its economy and out of total textile exports of 13 billion dollars Faisalabad is contributing 6 billion dollars. Similarly, Faisalabad is also ranked second in revenue generation after Karachi, he added.
FCCI has been trying its optimum best to develop direct business links with trade as well as business communities of the other countries and in this connection as many as 6 trade delegations have been sent to various international destinations during last few years.
The trade volume between two countries in 2014 was $412.5 million. It shows that Pakistani exports were US$ 187.6 million against Russian imports of $224.9 million.
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