ISLAMABAD (Online) – Pakistan and Belarus have decided to initiate joint ventures in textiles, pharmaceuticals and light industry to share the technological expertise and scientific advantage on both sides.
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Modalities for these joint ventures have been discussed in the meeting of First Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission. These joint ventures will open new avenues for greater cooperation in much diverse fields through partnerships of private and public sectors.
Both sides expressed their resolve to undertake concrete measures to enhance the volume of trade as the current trade figures are not reflective of its true potential.
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan and Belarus Minister for Industry, Vitaly M. Vovk reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between the two countries including trade, economy and commerce.
They expressed satisfaction at the current trajectory of bilateral relations and reiterated their desire to fortify these relations in diverse areas of cooperation.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to leave for Minsk tomorrow (Monday) at the invitation of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
It will be the first ever visit of a Pakistani Prime Minister to Belarus.
PM Nawaz will meet Belarusian President and Prime Minister. He will also sign important agreements and MoUs between the two countries.
Dastgir also emphasised the need to establish economically feasible air and sea routes for swift delivery of cargo. As Belarus is a land-locked country, therefore the establishment of air-link is necessary for the export of perishable items which has great demand in Belarus.
Chairman Board of Investment Mr Miftah Ismail, who is accompanying the Commerce minister, apprised the prospective Belarusian investors about the emerging investment opportunities that Pakistan provides.
Pakistan exported $15.23 million worth of items to Belarus in 2014, 36pc of which was rice, 9.27pc light pure woven cotton, 10.03pc styrene polymers, 7.43pc edible preparations, 4.48pc leather apparel and 4pc citrus.
Pakistan’s imports from Belarus stood at $42.65 million which mainly consisted of tractors (62.04%), artificial filament yarn (13.01%) and rubber tires (8.06%). Pakistan intends to correct this trade balance in its favor by exporting more value added items to Belarus.
Tariff rationalisation for this purpose was also sought during the bilateral meetings and JEC.