LAHORE –– Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan Oybek Arif Usmanov on Wednesday said that his country aims to further develop friendly relations and bilateral cooperation with the brotherly nation of Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan is trying to overcome energy shortages and we can help them seek access to surplus central Asian electricity.
This he said while talking to a delegation of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry headed by Chairman Coordination Raza Khan. The delegation also included Malik Sohail Hussain, Chairman Media and Shahid-ur-Rehman, Chairman Marble Association.
Mr. Usmanov, flanked by Deputy Head of Mission Asmatullah Faizullah, said that Uzbekistan is already providing power to Afghanistan and they are happy with it. We can provide electricity to Pakistan via Peshawar on very reasonable rates, he added.
The ambassador said that they are looking forward for enhanced exchange of business delegation and increase in cooperation sectors like textiles, leather, cotton, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.
Uzbekistan is the world’s second largest cotton exporter and sixth largest cotton producer, it can share expertise on insect-resistant cotton and anti-cotton virus technology, said Usmanov.
At the occasion Raza Khan lauded the reform process in Uzbekistan and demanded that the brotherly nation should offer electricity on most affordable rates so that the economy can be bailed out without burdening other sectors.
He said that cargo transportation, transit, telecom, IT and public health engineering are some sectors that need attention of the policymakers of both countries.
Malik Sohail praised the favourable business conditions, stable gold and currency reserves and steps for protection of investors as well as investments. He said that Uzbekistan should offer extra tax breaks for Pakistani investors. Uzbekistan can attract great number of Pakistani tourists by offering incentives, he said.
Trade leaders Tariq Sayeed and Iftikhar Ali Malik want enhanced bilateral trade, which currently stands at just $40m per annum, said Malik Sohail, adding that they want chambers of commerce of two countries to establish close links.
During the meeting, modalities of visit of 30-member delegation to Uzbekistan headed by Senator Ghulam Ali, President FPCCI were also finalised. This visit will be an opportunity to improve friendly relations in diverse fields including economics.