Islamabad: Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi was called on by Deputy Prime Minister for Investment and Foreign Trade, Mr Sardor Umurzakov to discuss establishment of trade routes and utilization of Pakistani seaports to connect CARs to the world. The Uzbek delegation included First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and Investments, Deputy Minister of Transport and Chairman of Uzbekistan Airways JSC.
Uzbekistan, a landlocked Central Asian Republic has export markets in gulf countries, southeast Asia, Europe and Africa. The cheapest route is through Pakistani ports. A dedicated terminal for goods from the Central Asian States and ease in the transit after the completion of ML1 project was discussed in detail. A dedicated shipping fleet for central Asian exports was also proposed. The trade volume of Uzbekistan and Pakistan has increased significantly in the past couple of years and with establishing an efficient trade corridor it will increase manifold. Formation of a Joint Working group was also proposed to further discuss the modalities for the execution of this plan.
Pakistan has the requisite environment to benefit from this opportunity as the incumbent government’s business friendly policies and the new shipping policy will strengthen Pakistan’s role as the shortest and cheapest route to the world, hence making it a gateway to Central, South and Southeast Asia.